With care from our family for your family
Organic Trachanas (τραχανάς)
Trachanas is a typical Greek product, very healthy and nutritious and in its cooking variations can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner. As such, justifiably formed the basis of the diet of Greeks in older times. Indeed, its production, initially meant as a method for the preservation of milk, led to a product that cooked as a soup was an easy and nutritious meal for nomad shepherds. Even today, one advantage is its long shelf-life. Since trachanas is so nutritious, it is the first meal given even today to babies after the 8th month of age.
Trachanas is made with wheat or flour as the basic material- hence the terms ‘wheat based’ or ‘flour based’- that is worked with milk or sour milk or yogurt or tomato sauce. The terms ‘sweet’ (glykos) or ‘sour’ (xinos) are used to distinguish when it is made with milk or yogurt respectively. Trachanas, as a traditional Greek product, was made with local produce and with recipes being passed through generations; hence variations in ingredients, recipes and definitions can be found as one travels through the country.
In the past, in most villages, before entry of the summer, each housewife had the task to secure winter supply for the family. During the months of July and August every family gathered or harvested their own wheat, cleaned it very carefully and washed it. Then they set a fire and boiled the wheat in huge pots. When dry, they broke the wheat with stones: the top stone had a hole in the centre so as to turn the stone by inserting a stick. In some village houses these old stones still exist. For the making of trachanas, sheep milk was preferred because its increased fat content made it more nutritious. Nevertheless cow milk was also an option. Those times, before the invention of refridgeration, man needed to cooperate with nature; so to make trachanas they needed to pair best milk quality with optimum weather conditions. After milking, they would boil the milk and pour it over the broken wheat in a big pan such that it would absorb all the milk. Then, they would spread pieces of wheat on a large cotton tablecloth and leave it there for a day for moisture to escape. Next day they would place such pieces on an upturned sieve and rub them between their fingers. Such sieves are generally passed upon generations; today are hard to find because they are special constructions. The ‘rubbed’ trachanas would be spread on sheets, laying on a shady place, usually on the house beds. They would be staying there for three days and then would be transferred to a sunny place for one day. It was crucial for the trachanas to dry really well, else it would go ‘mouldy’, meaning that all efforts would have gone astray. After drying they would collect trachanas in cotton bags and store. In winter, sometimes they cooked trachanas in the morning to feed the kids to ensure they are strong and healthy. This breakfast would keep them until they reached school by walking usually long distances. The whole family had trachanas; directly from a special dish, specific to trachanas: they cooked it inside the dish and consumed it directly from there.
Today, production follows a similar procedure: Wheat or flour is mixed with boiled milk or yogurt, dried and packed. The wheat has been previously boiled, dried, cut and sieved in a procedure similar to the production of bulgur. Production traditionally takes time such that it is spread on a large surface at least for a week to dry really well.
Trachanas is a good source of proteins, calcium, iron, magnesium and complex B vitamins; most recipes contain probiotic microorganisms since they are subjected to fermentation. Trachanas is highly digestible, beneficial to the proper intestine function and the support of the immune system.
So go for it:
This is an artisanal product brought to you by a family with a long farming history that has the purpose to pass its existence to the next generations. The use of chemicals is excluded at any stage of its production. Some stages from zero until this product reaches you are handled by hand, giving employment to a number of people. In all stages we take care to keep a balance so as not increase the production cost immensely. Like any hand-made product it may have its imperfections, but then these make it unique and its additional value is that you know it is brought to you by a family that cares for other families, yours included.