Pastificio dei Campi and its durum wheat
Sowing, threshing, milling and storage
The durum wheat used by Pastificio dei Campi pasta is exclusively Italian, comes mainly from Apulia (in particular by the Dauno Apennine) and in a smaller percentage from Campania, Molise and Basilicata.
Saracolla, Simeto and Grecale are some of the varieties of durum wheat used by Pastificiodei Campi, and they are selected because historically are the varieties at their best in the soils of these areas. The quality of the wheat is not only a question of variety, but the combination of this and the region, in a word “terroir” (microclimate, soils, varieties, etc..).
The lands that are used for the cultivation of quality durum wheat follow a three-year rotation, alternating the wheat crops such as legumes renewal, tomatoes, beets, fodder. These crops renewal allow the release of nitrogen in the soil that will be transformed into proteins only when you begin to grow durum wheat.
The soils are prepared for sowing by a soft plowing and, subsequently, harrowing or equipment which prepare a uniform seedbed. Sowing is done with precision seeders carefully measuring out the amount per hectare, which do not exceed 180-200 kg / ha. As happens in viticulture, low yields in fact increase the quality of the product formed (in this case, wheat).
At the same moment is made a fertilization based on nitrogen / phosphorus and subsequently, between January and March, nitrogenous fertilizations are made to support the plants and promote the accumulation of proteins. Fertilizations are targeted depending on the crop of the previous year, made in limited quantities and with slow-release fertilizer.
Then follows a weeding that is important to control weeds and so for June, generally after S. Antonio (June 13), we proceed to the cropping and we transfer the product in our stores. It should be emphasized that collection in June means getting a durum wheat with high protein and low humidity level, which remains stable until the milling.
Prima che il grano duro sia depositato presso i nostri magazzini, vengono effettuate tutte le operazioni analitiche per determinare la qualità e selezionare le partite in maniera da avere lotti perfettamente tracciabili; vengono inoltre effettuate le operazioni di pre-pulitura per poter così allontanare polveri, paglie e tutte quelle sostanze che potrebbero compromettere la buona conservazione del cereale.
Before the wheat is stored in our warehouse, we carry out all the operations which determine the quality and select units in order to have lots perfectly traceable. Pre-cleaning operations are also carried out so that we can remove dust, straw and all substances that could affect the proper preservation of the cereal.
After passing through ventilated steel silos (where durum wheat is cooled), the grain is placed in concrete silos in order to be safe from changes in temperature. Must be remembered in fact that all the grain inside the silo is still a vegetable organism "alive" and to continue its life, it should be kept in healthy environments and temperatures.
In the period from June to September, the wheat has changed again: the quality of the proteins is increased and texture of the gluten too, ensuring a good texture to the pasta. Avoiding long transport also allows you to maintain the fragrance of durum wheat. On the contrary, when you buy wheat carried overseas for a long time in large ships that have hosted first other products (such as soy or corn) these can contaminate the characteristics of the grain.
Milling, which takes place at the Mill of Nicola and Giusy De Vita, in Casalnuovo Monterotaro, starts in September and is a compromise between tradition and technology. All the processes of grinding are made with a conventional and traditional type of "diagram" and not of the latest generation. The cylinders (so-called rolling mills) ensure grind wheat semolina slowly, so as not to overheat the product and preserve as much as possible the original fragrance.
The bran of Pastificio dei Campi has the lowest yield ever produced by this mill town in Puglia. In addition, the process of extracting the semolina is particularly long, because groats are detached from the bran in a very delicate way.