Workshop: Freekeh, Wild Wheats and Ancient Grains with Ruth Nieman

Wednesday 24 November 2021, 11am


Time: 11am
Price: Free. Open to Guild members only.

Event Information

It is from the Old Testament in the Book of Ruth, that the ‘parched grain’ was first mentioned as she gleaned and toiled in Boaz’s wild wheat fields of Bethlehem. It has now re-emerged into our modern diets as the nutritious, green kernels of freekeh.  By returning to our biblical heritage, the annual agricultural tradition of reaping unripe wheat early in the season, is still practised amidst the lush Galilean terrain and remains a principal staple in the Arabic cuisine. This nutrient rich, sustainable and flavoursome grain plays a principal role in the Middle Eastern diet, nourishing the body, mind and soul, whilst connecting our culinary heritage to a modern way of eating.

The workshop will explore the origins of freekeh, meaning ‘to rub’ in Arabic, a name given to symbolise its agricultural tradition and culinary culture, rather than its identity. In this workshop, Guild member Ruth Nieman will take you on a journey through the fields of the Galilee in Northern Israel where the harvesting and smoking of the immature wheat takes place every Spring. The journey will end on the plate with a demonstration of the traditional method of cooking this staple carbohydrate, that is still practiced by Arabic matriarchs across the Levant.

Freekeh has been considered a ‘supergrain’, as the immature kernels retain more of their nutritional content than fully ripened wheat. We will also explore the health benefits of adding this ‘lost crop’ to our diets together with some of the other wild wheats and ancient grains that are making a comeback in our quest for healthy eating.  


In her recently published vegetarian/vegan title, Freekeh, Wild Wheats & Ancient Grains, recipes for healthy eating, Ruth explores the healthiest wheats and grains from our forgotten heritage, combining the ancient history from the biblical era, with innovative ways of cooking these lost crops from the Fertile Crescent, that modern eating, has distanced us from, which she will touch upon throughout. 

Like most of the Guild's current sessions this workshop will be taking place through Zoom. Please email Guild administrator Jonathan Woods to register and Jonathan will then send you details of how to access the events on Zoom. 

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