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Be First to Menu Ancient Greenwheat Freekeh™
Indian Harvest introduces a “new” whole grain to foodservice.
BEMIDJI, MINN., October 19, 2011—Just when you thought there was nothing new under the sun, Indian Harvest, a leading producer and foodservice supplier of specialty grains, beans, legumes and blends from around the world, is proud to introduce Indian Harvest Greenwheat Freekeh™ to U.S. foodservice.
Greenwheat Freekeh (pronounced FREE-kuh) is roasted wheat with millennia-old origins in the eastern Mediterranean. A highly nutritious and flavorful whole grain, freekeh is a process, not a grain variety. The grains are harvested while still young, green and soft, then roasted. The process (considered heirloom because it relies only on fire and oxygen and has been handed down over many generations) captures the grains at their peak of flavor and nutrition. Indian Harvest Greenwheat Freekeh is 100% natural, with no additives or preservatives.
Freekeh’s back story is the stuff of legend. Approximately 2300 B.C., a Syrian city was laid siege upon, and its wheat fields were set ablaze. But rather than destroy the living green wheat inside the kernel, the fire merely burned the hull. “Freekeh,” an Arabic word, refers to rubbing away the wheat chaff, by which an edible and delicious young wheat was born. While freekeh is enjoyed regularly in certain regions of the Middle East, it’s virtually unknown among U.S. diners.
“Greenwheat Freekeh is probably the most flavorful grain you’ll ever taste,” says Michael Holleman, Indian Harvest’s director of culinary development. “And it’s definitely one of the healthiest. Greenwheat Freekeh™ has a very ‘toothy’ texture—with some grains cracked and others whole—for a pleasing, almost meaty mouthfeel. The flavor is very earthy, with slight mineral undertones, and will vary from batch to batch not unlike vintages of wine.”
Wheat, when harvested young, retains more of its protein, vitamins and minerals, yielding significant health benefits. The freekeh process stops the maturation of the grain, preventing the conversion of carbohydrate to starch. The result is a high level of protein in a plant-based food. Greenwheat Freekeh is high in fiber (nearly four times that of brown rice), has a low Glycemic Index (impacting blood-sugar levels little), and acts as a prebiotic, promoting the production of bacteria that aid digestion.
Freekeh’s menu versatility is evident in Middle-Eastern Lamb Tacos with Greenwheat Freekeh. “I wanted to capitalize on the taco trend taking menus by storm in practically every foodservice segment,” says Jason Ziobrowski, CEC, Indian Harvest’s corporate chef for the East Coast. “Because tacos aren’t just Mexican anymore, they’re enjoying a revolution among diners of all ages.” His lamb tacos pay homage to freekeh’s roots via a cross-cultural marriage of traditional Middle-Eastern ingredients and seasonings with flavors of the American Southwest. Featuring Greenwheat Freekeh increases diner excitement even more because it enhances a culinary experience that’s already rooted in familiarity, Ziobrowski says.
Pack size of Greenwheat Freekeh is 6/2-lb. sleeves, yielding 192 half-cup servings per case (32 half-cup servings per sleeve). Be first in your community to introduce this “new” whole grain to your patrons. For culinary support and recipes featuring Indian Harvest Greenwheat Freekeh, call (800) 346-7032 or visit www.indianharvest.com/getfreekeh.
About Indian Harvest
Indian Harvest Specialtifoods, Inc., headquartered in northern Minnesota, is a foremost U.S. producer and procurer of some of the world’s most distinctive varieties of grains, beans and legumes for foodservice. The company’s dedication to discovering and promoting lesser-known, heirloom grains and seeds is deep-rooted in its 32-year heritage of providing chef-driven menu inspiration and solutions to an evolving industry. For more information, visit www.indianharvest.com.