The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Where can I find Ancient Wheat?

Glacrwlf's picture

Where can I find Ancient Wheat?

This is Glacrwlf with a puzzling question: Where can I find ancient wheat? I read the latest chapters of Yakitate!! Japan, and I heard about this product. I want to find some ancient Filipino Wheat for my Filipay (Filipino Tinapay) and I need to know where to find any Filipino province that has it.

copyu's picture

'Emmer' and 'Spelt' are categorized as 'ancient wheats'. I think that could be what your recipe needs. [?]

There are many posts here about 'spelt flour', so I'm guessing it's easy to find in North America--I can't find any of it here in Japan...even unbleached flour is on the "not available" list...<GRRR!> 

I hope this helps.




jannrn's picture

WHAT is Emmer?? I have NEVER heard of it.....and wouldn't Kamut be considered an ancient grain?? Has anyone used it?? I haven't yet but it is on my GOT TO list!!

Broc's picture

Dear Friends –

 Just in case you’re on a quiz show someday…

 Emmer is an ancient wheat, and was grown in Ancient Egypt.  It has been found in 3000-y-o tombs, and some of it has proven still sproutable.

 The Ancient Egyptian word for Emmer is “bdt,” which is vocalized something like “bed-et.”

 Not to be confused with Upper Egyptian Barley, which was harvested for making beer, offering to the gods and using as money.  Barley, in Middle Egyptian, is “sm’it”, or “smah-eet”

 Just though y’all would like to know!

 ~ Best

 ~ Broc


PS -- Yes!  I really do study and read that stuff!

JeremyCherfas's picture

Dear Broc

Please supply a reference for the claim that 3000-year-old wheat from Egyptian tombs has "proven still sproutable". I'd love to believe this myself, but I know of no good evidence.



naughtyprata's picture

Hi Glacrwlf

Wheat production apparently was pervasive in the Ilocos, Cagayan, Batangas and Cavite areas during the Spanish era. It was grown as early as 1664. However, during the American occupation it was abandoned as imports were cheaper.

Whatever wheat you may see now is a result of attempts by the University of the Philippines in Los Banos to grow commercial wheat in the 1960's. Not the ancient ones you are after...



JeremyCherfas's picture

I have founnd at least two wheat varieties collected in The Philippines, stored in the genebank of CIMMYT. There may be others, this was a very quick search. If Glacrwolf wants to try and grow those, or get someone else to experiment, the seed may well be available.


andrew_l's picture

Hi. Spelt and Kamut are both ancient grains and are easy to find here in the UK. Look at their site

I haven't sourced any Emmer, though it was apparently in use in Europe from the bronze age until fairly recently.


My bread now is made from a small amount of white bread flour, a reasonable amount of wholemeal bread flour and the rest made up of spelt and kamut. Excellent flavour! 


Both spelt and Kamut have plenty of gluten - Spelt is 13% protein, Kamut 15 - according to Dove's.


I haven't tried a loaf made of one flour only though I ought - Splet was apparently used by the Roman's and one enterprising baker near to Hadrian's Wall sells  a "Roman Soldier Loaf"!!!