Solina wheat originates in the Abruzzo region of Italy. It is a soft and tall wheat, extremely rustic and adapted over the centuries to growing on mountain terrain.
With its naturally full flavour, the flour obtained is particularly suitable for making bread and traditional desserts, but it can also be used to make fresh pasta at home.
Before the end of the XX century, the Solina wheat (Triticum aestivum L. spp. vulgare Host) was known by very few people and cultivated by few elderly farmers on the Appenine mountains of Abruzzo region (central Italy).
‘Solina’ is a traditional winter soft wheat landrace, cultivated in mountain areas of central Italy. The landrace shows high adaptability to marginal areas, as well as resistance to cold; in fact, some agronomists, during the last century, defined ‘Solina’ as ‘Wheat hybernum’. It also shows high yield stability, and because of its height (110-135 cm) and tillering ability is highly competitive with weeds. Given all these features, plus the fact that it does not require high amount of nitrogen, this landrace is cultivated under organic conditions. The spike is relatively long (8.0-9.5 cm), white (sometimes it is also possible to find reddish ones) and awned. ‘Solina’ produces big caryopses (average weight 42-46 mg; length 2.85-2.95 mm) characterized by relatively high amount of proteins (13.5-15.5%).
The sowing is carried out in autumn (from mid-September/mid-October) using 200-220 kg/ha of seed
The harvest is late if compared to the modern winter soft wheat varieties and is generally carried out from mid-July to the end of August. The productivity is highly stable but limited, with maximum values equal to 2 tons/ha. This landrace is typically cultivated at altitudes around 1000 m a.s.l.
‘Solina’ provides typical sensory properties to the derived bakery products, particularly appreciated by people living in the area.
Cultivation System: organic/low-input conditions.
John Sherck, Bristol, IN:
This is a famous heritage wheat from the Abruzzo region of Italy. It traces its roots back to the early 16th century. Solina is a fall planted soft red wheat that has been traditionally used to make homemade bread and pasta. There is an old saying from the Abruzzo’s interior region; “Solina fixes all flours”. This wheat improves the baking quality and flavor when blended with other wheat flours. Solina is in the Italian Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity.
My original seed stock came from the Abruzzo region in 2016. I planted at the beginning of October last fall (2017) and had a great harvest this summer on June 29th. The yields are generally a little less for Solina when compared to other heritage wheat like Banatka. I can also state that Solina is very disease resistant, especially when you consider the bed it was planted in stayed continually wet from early spring right up until harvest. This spring (2018), once again has proven to be one of the wettest on record for my farm here in Northern Indiana. We had plenty of rain even during flowering and grain fill. Solina grows to 4′ tall and had minor issues with lodging.