MONOCULTIVAR: A SINGLE WHEAT VARIETY Sown, harvested and milled in purity.
Today, how many artisans really know how to recognize the variety of wheat used in the characteristics of the final product? The only Mill in Italy with 180 hectares of land owned to do research, develop, experiment. Preserving family history, preserving traditions, respecting them but without stopping to innovate, keeping up with the times and dictating new trends. It happens in Le Marche region, Barbara, where Molino Paolo Mariani continues its milling activities by studying new wheat varieties every year that are able to adapt to Le Marche region and whose unique characteristics can be recognized in the final flours. A philosophy that has led to the birth of Monocultivar: flours obtained from a single wheat variety that has been sown, harvested, milled and baked in purity, with the aim of enhancing its peculiarities and making them recognizable in the artisan’s final product.
And it is from these premises that the 360 GRANI event came to life, created to share with customers this philosophy through which the Mill approaches the study of individual wheat varieties: the raw material at the center, then everything else. Of each wheat variety, the vegetative cycle, ear height, wheat hardness, ideal soil and microclimate, and cultivation techniques are studied. It is perhaps the company’s most curious project, Monocultivar, the search for sensory characteristics that distinguish one variety from another, just as happens in the world of wine or oil, but with a few more differences: soft wheat, in fact, “does not have such obvious peculiarities, but there are differences, instead – that’s for sure- and with a lot of sensitivity, you can learn to recognize them,” explains Danny Mariani, a young miller in love with the wheat fields, who dedicates his life to research and development in the fields. It is a landscape made of chromatic shades, contrasts, green expanses surrounded by rolling hills that surround the many ears of corn.
Similar on the surface, very different to a discerning eye: there are wheats with longer whiskers, varieties with a beautiful color that turns to aquamarine tones, more or less low-slung ears. There is Alpha, the wheat of Crunchiness, developed in Italy in the 1950s by crossing Gentil Rosso with some grains invented by Strampelli, “and how much there would be to tell about him…, ” adds Giuliano Pediconi, a master baker who has worked with the company for several years, always at Danny’s side when it comes to research, so passionate that he recalls the old millers’ method of tasting the grains of wheat: chewing them with the tips of the teeth in front of them, so as to perceive their hints but also their protein strength, “based on the amount and consistency of dough that forms on tasting.” And there is Beta, the Wheat of Meltiness, Gamma, the Indefinite Wholemeal with the flavor of wheat and dried fruit, Omega, or the Wheat of Panettone, perfect for our great world-famous yeast, and then Zeta, the Wheat of Sourdough, able to highlight all the aromatic complexity of yeast. To each its soil, its sowing and ripening period, its characteristics and its milling technique, “we cannot treat two wheats with different characteristics in the same way, otherwise we would lose all the organoleptic properties that distinguish them,” explains the miller. A very precise work that begins in the experimental fields and ends up in the Mill and then moves to the table, thanks to Giuliano’s hands and knowledge, which valorize the best out of each flour.
Gambero Rosso’s article, read the original Italian article here: