What makes your product special? Wholemeal certified organic wheat flour freshly milled from Scottish heritage wheat variety Rouge d’Ecosse. This grain was almost gone and thanks to enormous effort, a few enthusiasts gathered what grain there was (10gms packets or less!!) to enable a viable quantity to be cultivated. Each year this grain was harvested and re-sown, with the majority being grown at Mungoswells in East Lothian. It is this grain that now being milled into flour.
The milling too is special. By using an innovative ‘cyclone’ mill called a Zentrofan. It’s a slow, small-scale process that reduces the grain to fine particles without either heating it up by excessive abrasion or stripping it of its vital nutrients.
Who cares about it? Scotland The Bread is one of the innovative enlightened agriculture projects in a pilot programme supported by Funding Enlightened Agriculture (FEA). This collaborative network of funders, social entrepreneurs, advisers and food and farming experts was founded in 2012 and its activities are coordinated by the Real Farming Trust. Scotland The Bread has toiled to bring Scottish grain back to Scotland, with friendship and support from other heritage grain experts such as Hans Larsson in Sweden.
Who still uses/eats it? They have sufficient grown for a launch in Jan2018 whereupon real bread bakers and SF Chef Alliance Members will be offered batches to try out. Very exciting after its absence for so long.
Is it hard to find? Why? It was common in Scotland in the 19th century before cheap imports and industrialization of bread making. In the past, flours were rarely specifically labeled as to their varietal but it will be more than a century since this grain has been obtainable in Scotland!
What factors make it at risk of being forgotten and/or extinction? It was frankly no longer there!
What does it taste like? It has a soft texture and a flavour that is quite a revelation. Suitable for real bread (with long fermentation and no additives) and pastries, cakes and biscuits
Where does it come from? Rouge d’Ecosse wheat is, despite its French name, an old Scottish variety probably descended from the ancient British wheat Blood Red. It seems to have been given its French name (‘Red of Scotland’, literally) by the famous Paris grain merchant and wheat improver Henry de Vilmorin. His 1880 publication ‘Les Meilleurs Blés‘ (The Best Wheats) catalogues over sixty wheats, each described in detail and accompanied by a high quality engraving. According to Vilmorin, tradition has it that this grain came to Scotland ‘from the London grain markets’ (a source of wheats from all over the globe), which ‘leaves its true origins somewhat obscure’. At first confined to East Lothian, it was later grown ‘all over the country’.
What makes it distinctive? Heritage wheat is more than a historical curiosity. The superior nutritional profile and suitability for agro-ecological farming make them a good starting point in our quest to select and develop bread grains that grow well in Scottish soils and can nourish healthy citizens while providing local farmers with a fair and reliable return. It has above-average values for most key minerals,.