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Kernza: What is it and how to cook with it

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Kernza: What is it and how to cook with it
Photo LAND INSTITUTE

Kernza will be one of the trend foods of the year in 2019, according to The Sterling Rice Group trendsetters.

If you haven't yet heard of this grain, don't panic, you're certainly not alone. Fine Dining Lovers are here to enlighten you.

What is Kernza?

Kernza is actually the factory name of wild triga. It's a perennial crop and a cousin of wheat, domesticated by scientists at The Land Institute of Kansas (USA).

Kernza roots can stretch up to 3 meters deep - or up to 10 meters for larger plants - which allows them to draw the most nutrients and water possible from the soil. Another advantage of these long roots is that they anchor the kernza so firmly in the soil that they provide protection against soil erosion. According to researchers, this perennial plant could also capture large amounts of carbon and store it in the soil, which would reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Kernza is currently being researched to develop a farmer based on perennial plants.

Being only at the experimental stage, kernza is not yet present on breakfast tables, but if the research proves conclusive, this perennial plant could create a buzz in the coming years.

Cooking with Kernza

Kernza is a close cousin to wheat, it can be used in baking, in the production of breads or pastries. However, because of its low gluten content, it is best to mix with other cereals and flours to achieve good results.

Provisions Patagonia has also created an Ale beer with kernza, sold mainly in the United States in the Whole Food  network of supermarkets.

 

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