Once, only a few grain types were in use in food processing. That’s no longer the case as research chefs and bakers rediscover the goodness and versatility of “ancient” and “heritage” grains. Today’s product developers are taking advantage of hundreds of available grain types and formats, from millet, quinoa, teff, and other grasses, seeds, to multiple rice varieties to wheat in forms such as couscous and freekeh.
Last year, the National Restaurant Assn.’s prediction for the hottest food trends placed ancient grains as No. 15 on the general list, and No. 1 in “Starches/Sides.” And more than that, lesser-known grains scored high as well, with black/“Forbidden” rice coming it at No. 3 in that category and Farro (a heritage wheat) at No. 5.