The ancient variety of durum wheat known as Senatore Cappelli (Triticum Durum) was selected and studied in the early 20th century by genetist Nazario Strampelli. It is named after Senator Raffaele Cappelli who carried out an experimental sowing on his plot of land. For decades it has been the most popular wheat variety, especially in Southern Italy.
Before World War II, it was defined as “chosen race”. Senatore Cappelli has large and black awns which are the typical bristle-like appendages of grasses. In plain fields, Senatore Cappelli can reach up to 1,80 meters in height, that is, more than common wheat. For this reason it can be subject to “entrapment”, that is the pending down of the plant to the ground due to bad weather conditions like wind and rain thus making the year’s organic harvest more difficult.
Compared to white flour, Senatore Cappelli durum wheat flour has a bright yellow colour because it contains carotenoids preventing oxidative damage to cells. It is tougher and less extendible than white flour and this is why it is ideal for making homemade pizza and pasta.