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View Full Version : Farina & Semolina - difference?



Rita Y
07-31-2007, 12:21 PM
All I've been able to find out is that semolina is made from durum (hard) wheat and farina (Cream of Wheat) is made from a softer wheat. The grind is apparently the same.

How would their applications differ in things other than cooked breakfast cereal? When should semolina NOT be substituted for farina, and vice-versa?

Rita

K Kruger
07-31-2007, 01:17 PM
The difference is one of protein/gluten, semolina's being higher. As such, it is more difficult to mix or roll by hand--or even by machine in many cases. That's why most people use a blend of semolina and softer wheat (50-50, often) when making pasta at home.

One would not sub semolina for farina if its protein would be too high for the recipe or if farina's softer texture (lower protein) is required.

Rita Y
07-31-2007, 01:40 PM
My mother used to use farina in her (raw) potato pancakes instead of flour and they had a lovely texture - not mushy or tender, if that's the right word, like some potato pancakes/latkes. They fried up crispy. I have subbed semolina and it works pretty well, better than flour in any case. I really like the texture. For years, I couldn't get Farina in Atlanta when we first moved here, so I quit looking for it. I'll have to go back to the market and see if they have it.

I just read a (cooked, not raw before mixing) potato dumpling recipe from Lüchow’s (NY - still in business?) that calls for farina and cornstarch, an interesting combination I thought, and began wondering about the difference between semolina and farina.

Rita

K Kruger
07-31-2007, 02:24 PM
In something like your mother's recipe semolina can work, as you've discovered, because its proportion isn't too high relative to the potato. (Because the pancakes aren't worked hard, kneaded, rolled or extruded (presumably) the higher protein isn't an issue.) The less-fine texture of farina (or semolina) avoids mushiness.

Luchow's closed in the early 80s.

TJ's often has semolina and farina. Harry's should have both.

Rita Y
08-01-2007, 05:32 AM
I use semolina in fresh pasta and breads and don't have a problem finding it. Farina has been less available. Thanks for the TJ's and Harry's tips for the farina. It's been ages since I've visited Harry's - need to get over there. I go to the Duluth location on my way home from DeKalb Farmer's Market on the Kudzu Speedway (I-285).

Luchow's brings back good memories. My parents took me there for my high school graduation. It was wonderful.

Rita

K Kruger
08-01-2007, 05:20 PM
At Harry's, check the obvious section (with the flour) but also check the whole grain/ground grain shelf and the Indian section (semolina and farina are used often in this cuisine). I'm certain I've seen it ar Harry's/Marietta but I do not recall where. The farina I have now I got at TJ's in Redlands, Calif (not all carry the same products). It was near the King Arthur.

Rita Y
08-01-2007, 06:59 PM
Thanks, Kevin. I think I'll be at TJ's in a few days and will check. Better yet, I should phone them.
Rita