The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Recovering almost extinct French wheats

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JeremyCherfas's picture
JeremyCherfas

Recovering almost extinct French wheats

Has anyone here come across the French wheat varieties known as Touselle or Touzelle? (I did search first.) Louis XI, gravely ill, thought that only bread made from Touzelle could restore him to health.


I ask because a friend has written about the rediscovery of these varieties, and wondered if anyone had access to the article L'homme qui plantait des blés by Isabelle FAURE in Nature & Progres No. 59 (Sep/Oct 2006).


Thanks


Jeremy

Comments

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Is it possible that he thought that wheat from Touzel, France could help?  The town is in a valley where wheat might be grown.   ...or is that too far fetched?

JeremyCherfas's picture
JeremyCherfas

There is indeed a village called Touzelles -- I couldn't find Touzel -- about 240 km almost due south of Paris. And there are what look like wheat fields around it. The article I referred to, however, quotes a report:



In 1482, in the month of December, King Louis XI was taken ill at Tours, and had Touzelle [wheat] brought from the diocese of Nismes ...



And Nimes is another 350 km SSE of Touzelles, so I doubt that Touzelles was originally in the Diocese of Nimes. The article says that this chap has recovered some of these older varieties. We were wondering whether anyone could shed any further light on them.


Jeremy