The roots of wheat

The day is dense with clouds, it announces rain. In one of the squares of Orosei, a small town close to Nuoro, merchants are not demoralized: the activities for setting up the weekly market go on. A little further up the square a small portico opens up, with some shops arranged in a row. Among them, one smells of freshly baked bread.

Wheat ready to be processed in the mill | Ph. Valentina Sinis - Trentaremi

Wheat ready to be processed in the mill | Ph. Valentina Sinis - Trentaremi

It looks like a warehouse but is actually an ancient mill. Those of which Sardinia is rich. Lorenzo Moi, 33 years old of Paduan origins in love with this large island that has dominated the Mediterranean for millennia, welcomes us with a smile. Lorenzo is not only a baker or a trader, he is also a researcher. It is he who has recovered an ancient variety of Sardinian wheat and reintroduced it on the market: the Monococco.

«We are talking about a typology born over 10 thousand years ago», Lorenzo tells us, as he guides us inside the mill: «It is a small and flat ear, with a high protein content of up to 22 percent and with low toxic gluten, perfect for preventing intolerances. «A fact immediately leaps out to the eye: the great passion that this Paduan young man has for his work, for the products of the land and for Sardinia: «I always had clear ideas - he says smiling - already at the age of 4 I decided that agriculture would be was my job. And so it was».

Lorenzo has given new life to old wooden machinery | Ph. Valentina Sinis - Trentaremi

Lorenzo has given new life to old wooden machinery | Ph. Valentina Sinis - Trentaremi

Lorenzo has always been a lover of the Sardinian hinterland. First as a tourist, for some years as a permanent resident: «And here I want to stay - he confides - because here I see my future, both personal and professional». It would seem that the future of Monococco wheat is also in good hands, because Lorenzo is competent.

«We started in 2016, when I moved permanently here in Sardinia, with 25 hectares of land. We also proposed a crowdfunding campaign for the recovery of the ancient 120 cm natural stone mill. Today - with our brand “I grani di Atlantide” - we produce flour, carasau bread, fresh pasta, such as fregola and malloreddus (typical Sardinian pasta). A model of sustainable production and spending that we are trying to extend more and more, without limiting it to the province of Nuoro».

From wheat to flour | Ph. Valentina Sinis - Trentaremi

From wheat to flour | Ph. Valentina Sinis - Trentaremi

Monococco wheat, from a very ancient variety, is therefore an opportunity for development for the whole territory. As if the real gold of Sardinia were hidden here, in its deepest roots: «Cultivating it means promoting the biodiversity of this land... or rather: recovering virtuous models of cultivation and nutrition. Growing Monococco wheat also means making a pact with local farmers, offering them a right price for supplies and a quality product to the consumer». A virtuous circle that, for about four years, Lorenzo has been promoting in this north-eastern corner of Sardinia.

The typical Sardinian carasau bread derived from Monococco wheat | Ph. Valentina Sinis - Trentaremi

The typical Sardinian carasau bread derived from Monococco wheat | Ph. Valentina Sinis - Trentaremi

The future is here. On the enchanted coasts of the island and in its fertile countryside: «I hope that other young people will follow my path - concludes Lorenzo - because this land really has a lot to give for those who want to live it with passion and respect. Monococco wheat is a unique example of quality and sustainability in the world. The journey is not over, on the contrary: we are just at the beginning».

Enrico Nocera - Taste

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