Bio Logistic

Timilìa wheat

Synonyms: Timilia a reste bianche, Tumminia, Diminia, Tummulia, Riminia, Marzuolo siciliano, Marzuolo, Timilia napoletana, Napoletan. Known as Timilìahe, the cultivation of durum wheat has been practiced in Sicily for several centuries. It is thought that it was already known in ancient Greece with the name of Trimeniaios (τρεσ μηναιός).

During the 90-year war (1282-1372) this wheat was cultivated in Lentini for the possibility of being sown late. Its synonym Triminia indicates the capacity that this wheat has to complete its cultivation cycle in three months.

The Franciscan monk Francesco Cupani (1657-1710) speaks of Timilia in his Panphyton Siculum, describing it as “Triticum omnium durum Vernum spica longâ alba, angustâ barbâ nigricante” which means "A hard spring wheat, a long white spike, with thick black beard".

But we probably owe to Johann Wolfgang Goethe the most famous description of this wheat. In his “Voyage to Sicily" (1787) he describes it in this way: “The wheat is beautiful. Tumenia (TUMMINIA) -name that seems to come from Bimenia orTrimenia- is a precious gift of Ceres: it’s a kind of summer grain which ripens in three months. They sow it from January to June and it always matures within a certain time. It doesn’t need much water but rather quite a lot of heat. From the beginning it shows a very delicate leaf, then it grows like other wheat and finally it acquires a lot of force".

This wheat was also found in Portugal, North Africa, France and particularly in Seville, Spain. The agronomist Hugo Werner German in 1885 reported the various names with which Triticum tumonia or Timilìa was called. The names varies according to the location and were as follow: Tremesino in Spain; Blé Trimenia, Trèmois, or Trimenia de Sicile in France and Dreimonatweizen (three-month grain) in Germany.

Timilia widespread throughout Sicily in the last century as in the first half of the century the cultivation of this variety reached a remarkable diffusion thanks to the adaptation to the different environmental conditions. However, in the second half of the 20th century it was almost entirely abandoned. Recently, thanks to the greater sensitivity towards healthier and more sustainable productions and to the passion of various farmers guardians of Sicily, Timilia wheat regained a prominent place in the production of wheat throughout the Sicilian territory.

Its flour is used in a mixture for the production of Castelvetrano's black bread which is typical of the western area of the island and Slow Food presidium.