Turkey Red Wheat is an heirloom hard, red winter wheat brought to the United States in the 1870’s by German Mennonites from the Ukraine. After Alexander II of Russia revoked the military exemption promised to these peaceful farmers by Catherine the Great, they packed their crocks and trunks with Turkey Red hard red winter wheat and settled in Kansas. Turkey Red became the primary wheat variety grown in the United States until 1945 when higher yielding hybrids were developed. Most of the modern hard red winter wheat varieties we have today originated from Turkey Red.
Turkey Red Wheat is listed in Slow Foods USA’s Ark of Taste--a collection of foods from around the world that may be facing extinction. The Ark of Taste lists foods that “(1) are at risk biologically or as a cultural tradition, (2) are linked culturally or historically to a specific region, ethnicity or traditional production practice, (3) have outstanding taste, defined in the context of local traditions and uses, and (4) have sustainable market potential.” https://slowfoodusa.org/the-ark-of-taste-adds-12-new-food-products/
Fortunately, a group of farmers from Kansas have made it possible for all of us to enjoy the taste of this wonderful old variety! Turkey Red is high in protein--often higher than many modern varieties. Because of the protein content, it makes beautiful, tasty loaves of bread.
As with all our grains, we grew this heirloom wheat southwest of Culbertson without the use of herbicides, pesticides or fungicides. We package the berries for long term storage. They are heat sealed in a food-grade mylar bag. We preserve the freshness of our wheat by flushing the oxygen from the bag with food-grade carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is found naturally in the atmosphere and is completely safe. We have used this process for over 20 years and have never had bugs or any type of molds in our wheat.
Turkey Red has a wonderful, robust wheaty taste. One of our favorite quick breads in the fall is whole wheat cinnamon-apple coffee cake. Baking this with locally produced honey and apples adds a special touch to this tasty treat!
**This product comes as whole, unmilled grain
Allergy alert: May be prepared in an area that also contains milk, egg, fish, crustacean shell fish, tree nuts, peanuts, soybeans and wheat and wheat gluten
Turkey Red has a wonderful, robust wheaty taste. Try making a loaf of 100% whole wheat bread using locally sourced honey--you will have a treat the whole family will love!