Semolina, grains of the Italian south
Semolina is obtained from durum wheat (Triticum durum). It is the only kind of “flour” allowed by Italian legislation to be used to produce dried pasta. It is successfully grown in the southern Italian regions, where the hot and dry climatic conditions are perfect for its cultivation.
Unlike soft wheat, durum wheat semolina gives a greater elasticity to dough, a property that makes it ideal for the preparation of pastas and breads, including its use in the home. As an ingredient it also bestows a distinctive, characteristic golden-yellow colour on dishes.
In actual fact, the processes involved in the production of semolina produces not just one, but two widely-used products. In the first instance, by roughly grinding the kernel of the grain, once it has been extracted, semolina is produced. The semolina then undergoes a second milling in order to obtain “rimacinata“, or durum flour, which is much more finely ground and has a texture closer in consistency to soft-wheat flour.