First of all, how do you pronounce it?
Free-kah, though it is also known as farik in some parts of the word. In other parts still, it’s simply called the King of Grains.
Got it. So what is it?
Freekeh is essentially a special type of wheat, first cultivated in the Middle East, that is also harvested and prepared for consumption using somewhat unusual methods for a grain. Freekeh wheat is harvested when it is underdeveloped and still green, before being roasted to remove the straw and chaff. Because the grain inside is still hard, green and full of moisture, it emerges from the fire relatively unscathed, albeit with a lightly smoked quality.
So it tastes like smoked wheat?
Sort of! Freekeh lovers say that it possesses a hearty, earthy taste akin to fire-roasted cashews. Even when cooked, it retains a chewy, slightly resistant texture, a bit like fellow buzzy grains farro and bulgar wheat.