Kamut is an ancient type of wheat related to the durum variety used in modern bread making. Kamut is believed to be of Egyptian origin. Shortly after World War II, a Montana farmer sowed a few seed that were said to have come from the tomb of King Thot. In the late 1970s, an agronomist and biochemist called Bob Quinn became interested in this exceptional grain, which he named “kamut” after the word for “wheat” in the ancient Egyptian tongue. The plant’s scientific name is Triticum turgidum, subspecies turanicum, and it is also known as Khorosan wheat (from the name of a province in Iran).
Kamut is grown organically since it is well suited to this method of farming. It has not undergone the genetic improvements that have produced high-yielding strains of modern wheat but have at the same time often diminished the plants’ natural resistance and hardiness.
Compared to common wheat, Kamut is richer in protein (by between 15% and 40%), minerals such as magnesium and zinc, Vitamin Bs and Vitamin E and unsaturated fatty acids, but contains a little less dietary fibre. Kamut provides much energy and is appreciated by people with active lifestyles. It is easy to digest and is generally well tolerated by those with a sensitivity to gluten. Kamut flour is not refined or bleached, and thus retains all its nutritional qualities.
Kamut flour has a mild, somewhat sweet taste. It can be substituted for wheat in any recipe and is used to make bread, cookies, crackers, cakes, muffins, crepes, pasta and breakfast cereal. Kamut kernels can be cooked pilaf-style, like rice, bulgur or couscous, and make a good addition to soups. Cooked kamut can be eaten cold in salads. The whole kernel may also be sprouted and used as a malted grain or juiced like wheat grass.