Durum wheat, has a rich history that spans centuries. Believed to have originated in the Mediterranean region, durum wheat has been cultivated since ancient times, with
evidence of its cultivation dating back to 7000 BCE. The word “durum” itself originates from Latin, meaning “hard,” referring to the wheat’s hard texture and high protein content.
Durum wheat is renowned for its unique attributes, making it highly suitable for specific culinary applications. It has a higher gluten content compared to other wheat varieties, resulting in a tough and elastic dough when milled into flour and combined with water. This makes it ideal for pasta production, as it can withstand the rigorous processing involved in pasta making while maintaining its shape and texture. Durum wheat is harder, which allows the endosperm to be milled into semolina, a coarser flour and part of the grain commonly used in the production of pasta, couscous, and some breads. To extract the semolina the bran and germ must be sifted out of the flour. In addition to pasta and baked goods, durum wheat can be used in various recipes, such as pilafs, salads, and side dishes.
From its ancient cultivation to its pivotal role in pasta production and nourishment, durum wheat remains a significant and versatile crop that has shaped culinary traditions providing a foundation for diverse and beloved dishes enjoyed by people around the world.