Sunday, August 30, 2015

The quality of flour is not strained, but extruded. Grist and Toll Charcoal Wheat.

I have been tasting a lot of flour in the past year as part of my noodle soup quest. Some of it was difficult to find, some rather common. There is really no connection between cost and quality. I have also noticed that a lot of flour sold in supermarkets has gone stale, or never tasted like much of anything in the first place. Whole wheat in particular can be really nasty when stale. The best way to taste wheat is not in bread or pancakes because there are so many other ingredients. Try a noodle first and you will get what I'm talking about immediately.

This week's research involved side by side tastings. Mass produced wheat consistently rated lowest, no surprise. Once in a while there was a gorgeous batch I found somewhere odd. But if you want to taste really fresh whole wheat, very interesting strains, try Grist and Toll based in L.A. This charcoal wheat, I was told, will float my boat. And it sure did. This was extruded from the Italian hand powered bronze torchio into spaghetti about 6 or 7 feet in length. I tried it with nothing on it whatsoever, not even salt, lifted by hand and lowered into my mouth. This is pasta. But the rest awaits a really serious soup base, I'm thinking of the goat meat I have simmering on the stove now.

Goat Goulash with Home Made Paprika. Isn't the color gorgeous. Smells and tastes divine too.


Jeremy said...

Did you buy the flour locally?

Ken Albala said...

Yup, Grist and Toll in LA. Almost local. Here's a fun interview with the miller.

deana sidney said...

How does the charcoal work in the flour??

Ken Albala said...

That's just the color. Though there is a farina d'arso which is burnt. I bought some from Italy and it's absolutely disgusting.

Ken Albala said...

Jeremy, yes, semi-local. It's from LA. They're happy to ship to Northern California. I'm pretty sure all the wheat is grown in state too. k

hou said...

I think the temperature got to about 200 degrees, not enough to burn them, though I was originally thinking of a farina di grano arso.
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