Among nature's oldest cultivated plants, einkorn is known as the "father of all wheats" as its chromosome number has remained unchanged since the Earth's creation. Recently it has become a favorite ingredient for people pursuing an "organic" lifestyle.
The wheat we eat today is not like that which was eaten thousands of years ago. Einkorn is a healthy grain with a higher content of protein, phosphorous, vitamin B6 and potassium when compared to modern forms of wheat. It also has plenty of carotenoids, the natural red, yellow or orange pigments that are found in a few grains and many vegetables and fruits. Carotenoids have medicinal properties that help in preventing serious diseases such as cancer.
DNA fingerprinting has provided evidence suggesting the domestication of einkorn wheat was carried out close to the mountains of Karaca Dağ, located in southeastern Turkey. However, einkorn is only grown in Kastamonu province in modern-day Turkey and current production can hardly meet with the increasing demand thanks to the trend of healthy and organic living.
İrfan Çakal, an einkorn wheat producer who runs a stall at Kastamonu Days events in Bursa province, said the best products made out of einkorn wheat are bulgur and flour. "We use einkorn wheat flour in bread, homemade pasta and other pastries. We send this wheat everywhere in Turkey. After professor Canan Karatay, known for her tips for a healthier life, recommended einkorn wheat, the demand for our product doubled. There is very little gluten in it but it is rich in numerous minerals. I believe that this is the only grain that Turkish people should consume. I recommend it to everyone," said Çakal.