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What is Turkey Red?

Turkey Red is a color to some people, but most often it is used to refer to a group of "heirloom" wheats. Turkey refers to the country where these grains are thought to have originated, not the bird. Red refers to their color, relative to other wheats.

There is a popular story about how Turkey Red wheat was brought to the United States in the 1870s by Mennonites when they migrated there. While it makes an interesting tale, this is probably only a part of the story of how this wheat turned the American Midwest into the bread basket of the world. You should read the research that has been done over the years and decide for yourself which is the most plausible story.

Why does Turkey Red Matter?

These wheats are important for several reasons:

  • They give breads and other baked goods flavor that is clearly missing from the industrial wheats being grown by American farmers today
  • Turkey Red wheats are heirloom grains, which means they have not been "messed with" by the companies that are trying to control our food supplies
  • It has been reported that some who suffer from gluten sensitivities have no problems with Turkey Red wheat, although further research is needed to verify this

How can I learn more?

Spend a little time looking at the Resources part of this website. Read the research that has been compiled about these wonderful grains. Draw your own conclusions about their value and then . . .

Next Steps

  • Try some Turkey Red
  • If you know of any other relevant resources, please send them so that they can be added to the collection
  • If you are aware of other sources for Turkey Red -- or YOU have available Turkey Red – please contact us

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