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Practical Ideas & Organic Things

Spelt Flour/Farine de Petit Epeautre for Gluten Intolerant Weirdos

October 27, 2010

I’m one of those Weirdos, so please don’t take offense!

If, like me, you have to remove Gluten from your, your partner’s or family’s diet, then spelt flour is a really good alternative and can be used to replace common wheat in any recipe. Your recipe will, in fact, end up being more tasty (slightly nutty taste) and yourself and/or your family will end up feeling more satisfied than before.

But be careful, in France, there exist two different types of Spelt Flour: “Grand Epeautre” (Large Spelt) and “Petit Epeautre” (Small Spelt). We are only going to be interested in the “Petit Epeautre”.

Its official name is “Tritivum aestevum Var”. It is the ancient family friend of our modern, common wheat. This grain was originally grown in certain Far Eastern countries around 5000 to 6000 BC, also in the States and Europe and its popularity was widespread before the industrial revolution. However, agricultural methods changed over time, leading to an overall preference for common wheat, which was a lot easier to process; spelt then began to diminish in popularity, until very recently…

Today it is becoming more and more well known as an alternative to Gluten free diets.

But “Petit Epeautre” isn’t Gluten Free (it contains 7% gluten), so how does that work then?

Well the gluten contained in Spelt is different from that contained in common wheat. It has a higher  fibre,  protein and fat content than wheat and a slightly nutty taste. The carbohydrates that it contains are called mucopolysacharides and these are what make this grain interesting. When eaten, the carbohydrates have a stimulating effect on the body’s immune system, which helps to increase  the body’s resistance to infection. It is also highly soluble, which means that your body will assimilate it much more easily than the common, processed wheat, that we are so used to eating.

Once you have tried “Farine de Petit Epeautre” for the first time and decided that you like it, I would suggest buying it in larger quantities, which will end up being a lot cheaper for you.

Most Organic Shops (usually the only places you will be able to buy this flour) sell it in regulat rkg or 1.5kg bags. However, if you can find the flour in a larger format, such as 7.5kg bags, then it will make a significant difference to your pocket.

PS: “Botanique”, in Mouans-Sartoux sell the larger bags of Spelt flour.

If you don’t know this shop, just type it into Google or another search engine and it will come up with all the details.

Tried and Tested

by Watsup. Find out more about Watsup here.

Categories: Food



7 Responses to “Spelt Flour/Farine de Petit Epeautre for Gluten Intolerant Weirdos”

  1. I am also one of those weirdos unfortunately and find it very difficult here in France compared to what is available in England.Does that mean that Spelt pasta is also Gluten Free because I did not think it was. Also have you found out if there is a book in France equal to the one provided by Coeliac Uk that informs you of all the products that are gluten free.

  2. I have been checking online today and Spelt is definetely not Gluten Free.

  3. Hi Linda,
    You’re right, Spelt is not gluten free, however, there are two types of Spelt, and the “Petit Epeautre” (which contains only 7% Gluten), is the one to try, as it’s very easy to digest, because the molecules that make it up, are far smaller than those in grand Epeautre, or Common Wheat.
    Grand Epeautre or Epeautre, is actually a different species of Grain, so you always need to ensure that your packet says “Petit Epeautre” and not “Epeautre” or “Grand Epeautre”!
    Most people who are gluten intolerant can eat “Petit Epeautre”, without it causing them any discomfort.
    Obviously, everyone is different, so trying it is the only way to be sure.
    You can buy the flour, or buy the grains, to use in a Provençal soup/dish, called Mescia, which is delicious!

  4. Hi Linda,

    The Spaghetti I buy, is made by BJORG, I buy it from Leclerc in Golfe Juan.
    It says “Spaghetti Petit Epeautre” on the packet and is really tasty and easy to digest.
    I have also just bought the book: Recettes sans Gluten Ni Laitage” by Marie Delmas.
    It contains heaps of recipes and apparently follows the principles set out by the Dr.Seignalet.
    I haven’t had the chance to compare it to any other books, but found it on Amazon, so perhaps you can have a look on there.
    I think the Dr.Seignalet has links with Gluten free diets, but I’m not sure.

  5. Many thanks for your info. I will look at the shop in Golfe Juan.

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  7. Petit epeautre is actually not spelt but einkorn (Triticum monococcum). You can check this at http://www.petitepeatre.com which is the website of the farmers who grow it in France. It is also grown in Canada: http://www.primegrains.com
    Einkorn was the first domesticated wheat dating back some 10,000 years ago, and is not a direct ancestor of modern wheat but share the common ancestor wild einkorn.

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