Triticum aestivum spelta
The origin of Spelt is uncertain, but genetically it is a hybrid of three species, Goatgrass (Aegilops tauschii), wild wheat (Triticum boeticum) and the wild emmer (Triticum dicoccoides). All of these varieties are found in the Fertile Crescent of the Middle East. It is probable that spelt originated in what is now Iran and was distributed over time to Europe. The first evidence of Spelt comes from about 2,500 BC in Neolithic sites in Central Europe. This grain was an important crop in the Iron Age and it is a forerunner of modern wheat varieties, having 42 chromosomes..
The Romans used spelt wheat extensively throughout their Empire. It is likely that they discovered the grain in what is now modern Germany and found it to give a higher yielding crop than their existing wheat types. Spelt slowly replaced Emmer and Einkorn as the main crop wheat variety in Roman times. In Medieval times, Spelt was most extensively used in Germany and the Southern UK.
Lower in protein than either Einkorn or Emmer, Spelt has a slightly higher gluten level, though it is significantly lower than modern wheat varieties. Spelt is ancestral to the modern wheat varieties and it shares many characteristics with both common wheat and club wheat, which are both more modern species.
Doves Farm - Produce spelt flour in both stone-ground and white forms, available through most of their stores outlets and on-line.
Wessex Mill - Produce spelt flour as a wholemeal product for sale in their supplier outlets and on-line.
Glebe Farm - produce spelt as a wholemeal flour and a white flour. Both are available on-line.
Shipton Mill - Produce spelt flour as a wholemeal product for sale in their supplier outlets and on-line.