My boss’s partner is a flight attendant, mostly doing international flights. He always brings back random stuff he finds at the grocery stores. One day my boss gave me a bag of this stuff called grünkern. “We have no idea what to do with this, but you cook all the time, so you take it.”
It sat on my shelf for a year or so before I attempted anything with it. All the text on the bag is in German, so that wasn’t much help. From what I could tell thanks to the google, it’s spelt that has been picked before it’s ripe, then roasted. Apparently when there are bad seasons, the spelt doesn’t get the chance to fully ripen before it’s going to get destroyed by the weather, so they figured out this method of salvaging it.
And can I tell you? It is delicious. It’s chewy and quite nutty and just generally more interesting than rice. I use it now whenever I don’t feel like taking 45 minutes to cook brown rice [grünkern only takes about 20], or when I’m out of quinoa. The other night I cooked it and added it to black beans, chorizo [still Viva Vegan leftovers from last week, that stuff keeps], and avocado, only seasoned with a bit of lime, homegrown heirloom cherry tomatoes [portland bingo!], salt, and pepper flakes. It was pretty freaking awesome.
I can’t seem to find it anywhere in America, though. I’ll need to make sure he gets me more the next time he’s in Frankfurt. If you can find it, definitely get it.