Triticale is a fairly new grain as it is a hybrid of wheat (Triticum) and rye (Secale). This strain was developed in the late 19th century in an attempt to combine the hardiness of rye and the self-pollination characteristics of wheat. It wasn’t until almost a hundred years later, in 1969 when triticale was started to be commercially produced. It showed a lot of promise but never gained widespread acceptance and popularity due to some inconsistencies in quality. While its major use is for fodder due to its high levels of protein, it is also a popular ingredient in many whole-grain bread preparations due to this same fact.
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Order: Poales
- Family: Poaceae
- Tribe: Triticeae
- Genus: x Tritocosecale
- Binomial name: x Tritocosecale
- Hybrids like Triticale take dozens of years to develop as crossbreeding plants is a very time-intensive process.
- Triticale is still evolving with more breeding studies being done to this day.
- Triticale is very tough to work with when making bread, so if you find a great triticale bread producer, stick with them!
Triticale Buying Guide
Triticale can be a little bit hard to find as it is not as popular as many grains out there and its difficulty in preparation. Don’t worry, though, you can still find triticale in many health stores and specialty shops. Triticale can also be found in many farmers’ markets as it is a good starter crop for many homesteads as it is quite hardy and the yields of the crop are impressive.
Triticale Production & Farming in Texas
There is a notable production of triticale in the state due to the triticale’s attractiveness in use as fodder for livestock. Not only that, but triticale also grows in pretty much the same conditions as wheat so it is really easy for farms that grow wheat to incorporate triticale into their rotation to use as fodder instead of wheat. Some smaller farms in Texas also grow triticale for use as a grain as evidenced by the availability of locally grown grain and flour in gristmills, specialty stores, and farmers’ markets.
Pesticides, Additives, and Chemicals:
Since triticale is a fairly new crop and has not gained widespread popularity for human consumption, there have been little studies done on pesticide and chemical residues on triticale for human consumption. Since triticale is a hybrid between rye and wheat, it is safe to assume that it is susceptible to absorb chemicals and pesticides that are used for both crops.
Just to be safe, look for the USDA organic certification when purchasing triticale for food purposes. Another way to ensure that your triticale isn’t contaminated with pesticides and chemicals is to purchase it from local farms that grow their crops without using any pesticides and chemicals. There are a lot of local farms in Texas that embrace sustainability practices.
Triticale is a fairly niche product so they’re usually packed in resealable kraft paper bags. Locally produced triticale grain and flour usually come in Ziploc bags or other reusable containers.
Triticale usually comes in flour form where it is used to substitute for rye flour in bread applications. It has all of the taste of wheat with the nutrition of rye. Aside from that, triticale comes in rolled form, making it a healthier alternative for breakfast porridge.
Triticale can be stored much like wheat or rye. As long as it is stored inside an airtight container and kept in a cool and dark place, it should keep for a year or two.
Whole-grain waffles with Triticale Recipe:
This is a nice triticale waffle recipe that incorporates triticale flour into a traditional waffle recipe to turn a regular breakfast into a healthy breakfast. We will use a combination of triticale flour and whole wheat flour to let the waffle hold its shape. We’ve tried using all triticale flour and it was too crumbly for our tastes.
Triticale Flour, 1 cup
Whole-wheat flour, ½ cup
Ground Flax, 2 tablespoons
Brown Sugar, 2 tablespoons
Baking powder, 2 teaspoons
salt, ½ teaspoon
cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon
Milk, 1 ½ cup
Vegetable oil, 1/3 cup
Egg, 1 piece
Vanilla, 1 teaspoon
Orange zest, 2 teaspoons
In a bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients and mix until well incorporated.
In another bowl, whisk together all of the wet ingredients.
Pour the wet ingredient mixture to the dry mixture and whisk until a batter is formed. Do not over whisk, a few lumps are fine.
Cook in a waffle iron as you would any other waffle.
Top with your favorite fruit or syrup and enjoy!
When Is Triticale in Season in Texas?
To find out when Triticale are in season in Texas, please check the seasonal chart below. Why is this important? We are rarely encouraged to think about the physical lengths our food travels before arriving on the market shelves. And all of this travel comes with a hefty environmental cost that is concealed from the consumer’s eye. One of the most salient benefits to eating seasonally is that you are effectively reducing your carbon footprint and supporting a more geographically sustainable food economy. Check other fruit and veg that’s in season in Texas now.