As a Korean-American foodie who resides in West Oakland, I’m lucky that there’s a slew of fine eateries not too far from our home all along Telegraph Avenue in Temescal.
It isn’t just the fairy tale stuff of Goldilocks, or the pauper gruel of Oliver Twist. Really, porridge can be a beautiful (sweet or savory) thing, especially during the cold slog of winter.
He sat next to her on a long bench. He complimented her outfit, saying something to the tune of “I really like your skirt. It’s so… Third World.” When this failed to win her over, he stepped things up by making a comment about the food on her plate:
“Ahhh, keen-waaaah,” he said with deliberate flair. “That’s an ancient grain, you know.”
Frankly, if any man said this to me, I would have been automatically intrigued. Was he kidding? Was his field of study ancient grains? Was he really that interested in my diet?
If you’ve never heard of wheat berries, you’re not alone. When I mentioned to a few people that I wanted to write about them, I received some quizzical looks. So, for anyone not familiar with this whole grain, let me end the suspense: wheat berries are simply individual kernels of wheat (minus the hulls). They are what King Arthur and other grain companies mill to produce the many different types of baking flours, from whole wheat to all-purpose. And, just as there are many different types of wheat, there are just as many types of wheat berries, with their color ranging from light tan to a reddish brown. But the most important thing about wheat berries, at least as far as this post is concerned, is that they are scrumptious.
I’m a bit of a skeptic when it comes to whole grains. You know the ones I mean: Amaranth. Millet. Quinoa. Teff. They sound faintly exotic, like semiprecious jewels or new colors from the Pottery Barn paint collection. But they also have a hippie-dippy air about them, and I like my food full of flavor […]