If you think restaurants calling out farm names on their menus qualifies as ingredient transparency, prepare to have your mind blown.
Bay Area-based Community Grains, whose whole-grain flours, polentas and more are grown and milled in California, has ushered in a new level of detail and sourcing with its new, limited-edition Identity Preserved Wheat line of pastas. The pastas are meant to maintain the wheat's specific characteristics throughout production, while giving consumers as much information as possible.
Each Identity Preserved Wheat product lists a specific breed of wheat and variety; where it was grown; the acreage of the farm; a harvest and milling date, location and temperature; and "best by" date.
We tried Community Grains' first release, a hard amber durum fusilli lunghi pasta made with flour from Front Porch Farm in Healdsburg, California. The flour variety is described as "Desert King, developed by Dr. Jorge Dubcovsky for the University of California." It cooked more quickly than most whole-wheat pastas we've sampled--al dente in just over six minutes--and delivered a lightly nutty taste and pleasant texture.
However, at $9 for just more than 12 ounces, these noodles are a pricey proposition.
But if knowledge is power, we guess it doesn't come cheap.