Zea or Zeia , the main grain of the Ancient Greeks’ diet

Photo By mylittlegreekfoodbook
One of ancient Greeks’ main diet ingredients was Zea flour (Triticum Dicoccum is the scientific name). They wouldn’t eat food containing wheat. They used wheat as animals’ food. The grain of Zea is probably the oldest in the world.
Photo By bachari

It looks similar to wheat’s grain, but its nutrition facts differ significantly. Zea flour (other names Emmer, Zeia and Spelt) is high in fiber, minerals and protein. Its products are considered to be more nutritious and palatable. Sometimes is confused with the German Dinkel grain. 

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Zea is two times richer in dietary fiber than wheat, two times richer in protein with a high amount of vitamins A, B, C and E. It is also high in magnesium and very low in gluten.

Until about 100 years ago, Zea was the most popular grain in Greece. But in 1928, according to Santorini Food Lovers, its cultivation was banned for financial reasons as the imported cereals crops of rice and wheat were more profitable. The revival of the ancient Zea grain has lately been taking place in few areas of Greece’s mainland.

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