Farro is commonly sold in whole grains, often regulated by various sizes with a gradient of “choice”. First choice is given to the largest grains (6/8mm.) second choice for sizes of 3/5mm, also erroneously called “Farricello” or small farro, and the third choice is for broken grains, the result of un-calibrated stone mills or an imperfect husking operation.
Some prefer the broken farro, since this reduces sensibly soaking and cooking time.
It is however always advisable to buy whole farro, because it does not contain impurities (small stones, dust present in the broken stock), you can then avoid the burden of cleaning it and you have a guarantee of selection. To obtain broken farro all you have to do is use a coffee grinder or a food processor.
Farro is kept like all other grains, it is sold principally in sealed little sacks or in a vacuum, some companies sell it in glass containers to always guarantee the original humidity.
Farro sold to restaurants is delivered in 15/50 kg sacks (33/110lbs.) in an economical mix of 60% first choice and 40% second choice.
In the market, as we mentioned already, you run into false farro, the soft one, or even a mixture of farro and wheat, a very low price usually belies the quality and warns you against this not so infrequent nutritional fraud.
Farro is produced in a very fractured way by small agricultural organizations, for a total of about 660,000 lbs a year, mainly sold in Tuscany. Awaiting formal regulations on products declared “Biologically Grown”, we must state that you can be trustful because from the analysis performed on a variety of samples of farro grown in different parts of Italy, chemical residuals have been just about absent or ins such minute quantity to be able to earn the definition of “biologically grown” from strict German laboratories.
In the market you can also find farro flour, this is recommended as a great substitute for normal wheat flour, since it gives dishes a better flavor.
On the wake of scientific recognition afforded to farro, as the precursor of grains with insoluble fiber, and wholesome ingredient par excellence, some firms produce and sell so called “Farro dietic pasta” made with 20% farro and 80% hard wheat semolina with a few other ingredients added.
Poor cereals are characterized by having high quantities of phytic acid, some scientists have attributed to this substance the beneficial effect of inhibiting a variety of oxidation processes related to fats that normally lead to colon cancer. Farro is then the ancestor of “poor grain”, it is a very healthy food, it satiates and gives energy, it nourishes and does not bloat you, experts preventive action against practically any form of ailment, in spite of all these virtues, that make it sound like a medicine or a diet prescription, it tastes so good that it can consumed just simply boiled, with a pinch of salt and a drop of olive oil.
Moreover, given that so much emphasis is placed on products that qualify as biological, it must be remembered that farro is one of the grains that are not polluted with fertilizers and pesticides, since it is grown with practically no chemical help and it is resistant to parasite infestations.