Jovial Foods’ Einkorn Pasta

Jovial Foods’ Einkorn Pasta

I Paid: $3.39 to $3.69 for a 12-ounce box of pasta (prices may vary by region)

Taste: 4 stars

Marketing: 4 stars

The central part of the story behind Jovial Foods’ new Einkorn Pasta is that einkorn—the first wheat to be cultivated, starting about 12,000 years ago—was discovered in the stomach of Ötzi, that Copper Age guy found frozen in the Italian Alps roughly 5,000 years after his death.

And while that’s not necessarily the soundest rationale for creating a new product, it’s certainly intriguing. If you consider modern, bioengineered foods to be bad and traditional foods to be good, then you’ll probably reach the conclusion that this very, very old wheat must be very, very good for us indeed.

Well, at least by the numbers, that’s kinda true. Compared head-to-head with Barilla Spaghetti, a 2-ounce serving of Einkorn Pasta is comparable, in terms of calories, fiber, sugar, and protein. But Einkorn has a wide assortment of other nutrients, such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and manganese, among others. Einkorn also has a high ORAC (antioxidant) rating, a claim with positive medical conclusions that are still somewhat scientifically iffy.

For all that, Einkorn Pasta, which is sold at Whole Foods stores, tastes pretty good. There are two clearly perceptible flavors: a sort of whole-wheat-bread note and a malty, almost beerlike taste. Neither is so loud as to shout down other flavors in a pasta dish, although Einkorn Pasta does work better with more substantial dishes (such as hearty Bolognese or chili) than lighter treatments (herbs and butter, for example).

In terms of texture, it’s somewhat denser and coarser than regular pasta but doesn’t fall into the trap of being grainy or gluey like many whole-wheat varieties. So, yeah, if they find me trapped in a frozen river 5,000 years from now, I very well might have this pasta in my stomach.

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