While I was buying my Einkorn flour at Daybreak Mill, I saw that they carried Kamut. So I bought some.
I’ve always found Kamut, or Khorasan wheat interesting. There is no real consensus on where this grain originated, there are a few theories, but nothing concrete. The reintroduction of the grain is generally accredited to an American airman who was given the grains in the late 1940s -the giver of the grains alluded that they were found in King Tut’s tomb.
The airman send home 36 grains to his father, a farmer, who turned very few grains into thousands of bushels, calling it King Tut’s Wheat. Unfortunately, aside from a small local following, the grain was not popular and fell off the radar.
In 1978, Bob Quinn, who had sampled Kamut many years earlier, returned home to the family farm after completing his Ph.D in Plant Biochemistry to find his father Mack growing khorasan wheat. During those years, the father and son became more interested in organic farming and by 1989 their entire farm had been converted to a certified organic farm.
By 1990, the word was out on this ancient grain and the interest was growing rapidly. Many people with wheat sensitivities were able to eat this grain without ill effects!
Khorasan wheat has a very different nutrition profile than modern wheat, and due to the unique health benefits, Mack and Bob decided to act to protect the heirloom grain. They trademarked “Kamut”, creating a guarantee that the original grain would always be grown organically and remain unmodified.
More on the Trademark from Kamut International:
KAMUT® was first registered as a trademark with the US Patent and Trademark office in 1990. This was done to protect and preserve the exceptional qualities of this ancient khorasan wheat variety, for the benefit of all those who are interested in high quality, healthy food.
The KAMUT® trademark is a guarantee that the khorasan wheat bearing it is always the original, unmodified, unhybridized and non-GMO variety. KAMUT® khorasan wheat is also always grown certified organic and meets high purity, nutrition and quality standards.
The word KAMUT, meaning “wheat” in the ancient Egyptian language, was found in An Egyptian Hieroglyphic Dictionary by E. A. Wallis Budge, first published in London by John Murray in 1920. Since this was from a dead language and KAMUT was not a word in common use in other languages, it was possible to register it as a trademark.
There is now a faction of famers in Montana, Alberta, and Saskatchewan dedicated to growing Kamut and upholding the standards of the grain.
As I mentioned earlier, many people who have gluten sensitivities are able to eat Kamut grain because of the composition. This is not to say that people with Celiac disease can eat Kamut – because they cannot – it is still a gluten containing grain.