In times like these when investing is considered more a risk than a wise choice, how can you bank on an ingredient, such as einkorn flour, which you already know is not very profitable? How do you gamble on a type of wheat with very ancient origins (its discovery dates back to ten thousand years ago) and whose yield is about one-fourth of traditional wheat?

Franco Pepe and Fabio Abbattista explained this concept at the Albereta Relais & Chateaux in Frankfurt during an exclusive event to present “Nativa”, the innovative vegetarian pizza based on Einkorn wheat cultivated by Molino Piantoni.

This pizza comes from the collaboration between Franco Pepe, Molino Piantoni and the University of Brescia. It is a tasty, healthy, vegetarian, vegan and highly digestible product. It has a darker colour than traditional pizza: it is thin, with flatter edges than the classic Neapolitan pizza and has a crispy, crumbly and fresh taste.

The lightness, a characteristic feature of all Franco Pepe’s pizzas, reaches its maximum expression in this pizza. The topping created especially by Fabio Abbattista, executive chef of the LeoneFelice Restaurant and the VistaLago Bistrò de L’Albereta, is completely vegetarian and vegan, in line with the idea to offer a natural product to suit all tastes. Tomato is combined with hummus made with avocado and Cicerale chickpeas, while the wild rucola shoots offer fresh and pungent sensations.

“Einkorn in the dough mixture can be quite problematic. I liked the idea of working with something ancient, but I had to do many tests, decreasing the leavening times and reducing the amount of salt. This creates a wonderful sensory and taste experience because I believe it is important to create memories and sensations. If you create a beautiful memory, then the customer feels good and wants to come back for more,” stated Franco Pepe, who a few months ago opened the La Filiale (click here for the article) in Albereta.

“We are proud of the results that we have achieved in these years of cultivating einkorn with the University and the Spedali Civili of Brescia. With more than 150 years of history, we are a company that honours tradition while embracing research and innovation, which allowed us to rediscover this ancient grain. We would especially like to thank Franco Pepe, with whom we have been collaborating for many years,” said Claudia Piantoni, Research and Development Manager of Molino Piantoni.

“Einkorn is a recent discovery and the seeds are scarce: a few hectares of einkorn are sown and grown in Cigole, in the land surrounding Molino Piantoni. Besides the scarce quantity of plants, the difference is the yield, which is one-fourth or less of traditional wheat. Even the taste is different, but it has a positive impact on health, otherwise it would not be commercially viable,” continued Fausto Valbusa, Production and Quality Control Manager at Molino Piantoni.

Nativa is a big gamble on taste and refinement, the result of a long project made possible by great teamwork. It mainly comes from Franco Pepe’s collaboration with Molino Piantoni aimed at creating a natural, light and balanced product that, at the same time, is tasty and vegan. Currently, the product is only available in the La Filiale of Albereta but who knows, one day the Einkorn flour could be a precious ingredient for other professionals and connoisseurs.

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