The history of Freekeh started with Palestinian farmers thousands of years ago in the “Marj Ibn Amer” area, the region’s richest soil plains, locally known as “the bread basket of Palestine.“ This area is located north of Jenin and extends north to Nazareth and west to Haifa.
Historically, farmers depended on their own labor and their farming animals to cultivate surrounding fields. Crops harvested were not always sufficient to supply the community through the year to the next harvest. In years where there were shortages in food supply, farmers developed techniques to harvest crops early to bring a source of food earlier than a traditional harvest. This applied to multiple products like chickpeas and fava beans. For wheat, they cultivated wheat green about four weeks earlier than dry wheat and flame-roasted it in order to peel the husks and use the wheat. Over time, this technique developed into a whole new product, where people sought it out and developed ways to make it available every season, and even year round by sun-drying it and making multiple recipes from it. For a long time, Freekeh has been a favored Palestinian specialty food, with delicious meals, soups, and salads.