ANCIENT ‘VERNA’ WHEAT Cristina & Elisa Conversation among Chefs

The anticipation, while dough rises, the velvety sensation of flour running through fingers or the fragrance of freshly baked bread, are images that warm the heart and stimulate the appetite.

Flour is the main ingredient in many of our recipes, forms part of our daily lives as well as our past, and evokes familiar memories and forgotten flavours.

These are the reasons Vignamaggio decided to start with the quality of her most important ingredient, flour.

VIGNAMAGGIO’S WHEAT is being cultivated on land down in the valley. We decided to use an indigenous and ancient variety that has always been grown in the area and one that is hardy and therefore well suited to organic cultivation: Verna soft grain wheat was chosen. An ancient variety of Tuscan origin, deriving its name from Monte Verna in Casentino.

Historically, it has been told that this characteristically versatile soft grain wheat produces a high-quality flour with a robust flavour. Being stone ground, any heating is kept to a minimum, keeping the germ intact, without compromising valuable properties like the B vitamins, vitamin E and minerals like phosphorus, potassium and magnesium.

Vignamaggio’s organic soft grain flour, made from Verna ancient-grain wheat, is used for creating bread, pizza, dried pasta and biscuits made by our chefs Cristina and Elisa, who shared a few tricks of the trade with us.

 “The secret, as with all things, is in the love with which one prepares food, and ancient-grain Verna wheat flour requires gentle handling. What I have experienced making tagliatelle, ravioli and tortelli is that this flour offers a nice blend of firmness and elasticity, and with the Cantucci biscuits, a perfect flakiness.” Says Cristina. Elisa, specialist bread maker, smiles, adding “the flour responds well to gentle handling, but there are times when the dough needs to be worked a little harder”. With baked products, like cakes and biscuits, it is necessary to work the dough longer than one would with industrial flours.

The hard work is well rewarded by such satisfying results and there is great enjoyment in preparing products with flour we know the origins of, 100% organic, 100% Vignamaggio.

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