Rye is one of the most widespread cereals in central Europe, but as food follows human routes, it has also found an ideal habitat in our territory.
The introduction of this cultivation has unknown origins. However, among the many hypotheses is one that sees rye travelling with Charles V – the Emperor over whose reign the sun never set – who fought a decisive battle against his enemy, Francis I of France, in Seminara.
Charles V, the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, would therefore have introduced it from his German territories. According to some ancient commentators, this would explain the origin of the name ‘jurmanu’ by which rye is known throughout southern Italy.
Whether the story is true or false, like many other products, rye has taken root well here, to the point of assuming peculiar features reflecting the identity of this land.
Easy to grow, sturdy, and unpretentious, it was the ideal cereal for the lower classes, who hardly could afford wheat’s delicate flour. It was used to make dark bread, providing a valuable substitute for the diet of farmers and shepherds.
With the arrival of larger quantities of wheat, and the improved availability of white flour, the cultivation of Jurmanu began to decline rapidly until it almost disappeared.
Today, in a general renewed focus on traditional crops, Jurmanu is regaining popularity, so much so that it is also being used for other food products.
Master brewers have included it in the preparation of intensely flavoured and fragrant beers, such as the one specifically created for this menu, in which, among other local ingredients, Jurmanu plays a decisive role.