Farro is a general Italian term for wheat. This includes the ancient wheat varieties of Spelt, Einkorn, and Emmer.
In the food world, if you order farro, you could be getting any variation on those three grains: from a whole grain kernel to something that has been pearled. Farro, like many in the market, is not technically a whole grain. It has been lightly scored to facilitate the release of starches when cooking. Only the smallest amount of bran is removed in this process, but any loss prevents it from being classified as whole grain. When cooked, the kernel almost pops open and releases starch. This makes a perfect ingredient for dishes like risotto (often called farrotto when using farro) where you want the grain to soften over time and create a creamy dish.
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