Timilia ancient grain: ‘the black Sicilian gold’
Ancient grains are forgotten varieties which have been less cultivated by men. Therefore they have managed to keep their original nutritional values and taste.
Timilia (or Tumminia) is a very special ancient grain which is famous for its lower gluten index and easy digestibility. Timilia grain is recognisable by its dark coloured spikes.
Timilia is one of the oldest grain varieties which is currently only cultivated in Sicily. Ever since Roman times Sicily is considered the granary of Italy. At that time Timilia was still a widely grown crop all over Italy. However, with the emergence of new, more profitable wheats the cultivation of Timilia was largely abandoned. Therefore it was at risk of extinction.
Only a few Sicilian farmers saw the importance of this variety and continued to grow Timilia, despite the relative fragility of this crop. This way they made an significant contribution to the protection of the Sicilian biodiversity.
Timilia deserves to be rediscovered, not only because of its exceptional nutritional qualities but also because of its excellent taste and easier digestibility.
That was the reason for Angelo Barbagallo, Siclian pasta maker for La BIO IDEA, to ask his fellow farmers to start growing Timilia durum wheat for making pasta from 100% organic whole Timilia flour.
The grain for the Timilia pasta is stone milled to preserve nutritional values. Angelo gently kneads the special gray-coloured flour into dough for the pasta. The pasta is slowly formed by using bronze dies. Also the drying is done slowly at low temperatures. The Timilia fusilli that is produced this way is fragrant, full of flavour, nutritious and easy to digest.