Product Review: Einkorn Pasta

I recently received some free samples of a new brand of whole grain pasta, with a request to review the product. Having read through the promotional literature, exchanged emails with the company’s nutrition scientists, and cooked some up to taste, here’s my take.

At a Glance

Jovial einkorn pasta is a 100% organic whole grain pasta produced in Italy.It comes in a variety of shapes (spaghetti, penne, etc.) and is nut-brown in color. Here’s the Nutrition Facts label for einkorn spaghetti:

Jovial Pasta Nutrition Facts

The Company Line

According to the company, einkorn was the first domesticated species of wheat but was eventually replaced by other hybrids that produced higher yields. This “purest, most ancient species of wheat” is promoted as being lower in starch and higher in protein and fiber than regular wheat. It’s also said to have higher levels of thiamin, lutein, vitamin E, and many other nutrients.

The Reality Check

Comparing the einkorn pasta with regular whole wheat (durum) pasta, einkorn is about 30% higher in protein and a bit lower in carbohydrates. (Fiber was similar.) In that sense, Einkorn is comparable to pastas like Barilla Plus or Ronzoni Healthy Harvest–although these pastas add pea flour and other ingredients to boost the fiber and protein content whereas the einkorn comes by it naturally!

The einkorn pasta is also anywhere from 20 to 80% higher in various other nutrients like iron, thiamin, zinc, and riboflavin. However, pasta is not a significant dietary source of most of these nutrients. For example, while the einkorn contains 25% more magnesium than regular whole wheat, it still only provides about 15% of your daily requirement.

So, compared with other grains, einkorn does appear to be toward the top of the heap. However, grains (and pasta) are not particularly nutrient-dense foods.

The Taste Test

I liked it! When cooked al dente, the einkorn pasta has a nice, well-rounded flavor and excellent texture–none of the mealiness, heaviness, or that slight sweetness than can sometimes mar whole-wheat pasta. As with any pasta, cooking it in salt water improves the flavor and overcooking it ruins the texture.

Pricing and Availability

It’s pricey. Expect to pay between $2.50 and $3.50 for a 12 ounce package. You’re most likely to find einkorn pasta in whole foods and health food stores. The Jovial website includes a store locator You can also buy it on Amazon.

The Bottom Line

Einkorn pasta offers significantly more nutrition than regular pasta with no compromise in terms of taste or texture. Compared with other whole-grain and protein-enriched pastas, the nutritional advantages are not as dramatic. Whether or not this pasta is worth the premium price will probably depend on how compelling you find the whole “ancient wheat” back story.

3 thoughts on “Product Review: Einkorn Pasta

  1. Nicely written product review but not included in this look at this grain is a detailed study on its safety for celiacs. (http://www.einkorn.com/toxicity-of-einkorn-gluten/)

    I happen to know this grain is very simliar to what was found in the Kennewich man’s stomach – The wild form of einkorn is called Triticum boeoticum, (I live in the area he was discovered in and very interested in his fate.)

    Triticum monococcum which is the domesticated form of einkorn wheat, also know as einkorn farro.

    more factoids on this grain

    *Wheat gluten studies have found einkorn wheat may be non-toxic to suffers of gluten intolerance and celiacs disease
    * Einkorn wheat has 14 chromosomes while modern wheats have 42 (Friendly to the body’s digestive system)
    *Einkorn contains 3 to 4 times more beta-carotene than modern wheats (Boosts immunity, helps prevent cancer and heart disease)
    *Einkorn contains 2 times more Vitamin A (retinol equivalent) than modern wheats (Healthy eyes, reproductive organs and prevention of many cancers)
    *Einkorn contains 3 to 4 times more lutein than modern wheats (Prevention of macular degeneration and cataracts)
    *Einkorn contains 4-5 times more riboflavin than modern wheats (Used by the body to create energy and is an antioxidant that slows aging)
    *Einkorn is a “hulled” wheat, whereas modern wheats are not. The hull can protect the grain from stray chemical contamination and insects making it an easier grain to grow ORGANICALLY! This means that the grain is much harder to grow in regards to intensity of labor, resulting in higher prices.

    NOT READILY AVAILABLE at all stores unless a health food store or online….

  2. Hi Monica

    I have been trying to get some einkorn flour and have had no success, as I live in Australia, could you please let me know if there is a supplier who would ship it here to Australia or where could I get it? It’s frustrating as Jovial Foods don’t supply Australia. It would be greatly appreciated.

    Regards Liz Stooke

  3. Liz Stooke,
    Young Living has a line of Einkorn products including flour.
    I’m in the US and there is variations in what’s available country to country but a possible option for you.
    13788182 is my id number

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