Heritage Abruzzi Rye is a delicious, sweeter rye that has a nutty depth of flavor. We are so delighted to offer this heirloom gem, traditionally grown in the South, grown regeneratively and organically here in California by Jonathan Ecke at Ecke Farms.
Historically in the Unites States, there were two important classes of rye: Roman rye on one hand, and French and German rye on the other. Roman rye was so vigorous it grew on almost any ground. (And it continues to do so to this day, there are just a few classes of rye today; German and French rye, and Roman rye. Roman rye occupies more acreage than any other heirloom grain in modern America. So prolific is rye, in fact, that you find it on the highway shoulders in Vermont, in Texas scrub, and in field and forest plots everywhere between.) By 1680, Italian rice farmers had brought the ancestors of modern ryes to Carolina rice fields for winter grazing and brewing—and bread. These hardy rye varieties descended from the first Roman ryes planted and selected over centuries by Jesuit monks who moved away from Rome and into caves in upper Abruzzo beginning in the 11th century. Jesuits selected their ryes for extraordinary vigor in a harsh environment. Today, the ryes of Abruzzo have a great reputation of resilience and thriving in the most challenging of soils. Most heirloom ryes of Abruzzo are traditionally flatbread ryes, but with proper technique, they make amazing artisan breads. They also make terrific home brewed and specialty beers.