Kamut® vs Khorasan: Unraveling the Brand Name Misconception

Organic Khorasan Berries

When it comes to ancient grains, Khorasan stands tall among the crowd. With its rich history and unique nutritional profile, it has gained popularity as a wholesome ancient grain. That is why we grow and sell Organic Khorasan here in Teton, Idaho on our small family farm, Grand Teton Ancient Grains. Some people are confused by the name though, and we need to clear that up.

Kamut®: The Brand Name

Most people would recognize the name, Kamut®, more easily than Khorasan. The Kamut® name is a brand name that was trademarked by the company Kamut® International, and any product sold with the Kamut® name must get permission from them to use their name. While Kamut® is a more popular name than Khorasan, it is important for bakers to know the real name for the grain is Khorasan.

Let’s learn more about Kamut®:

The story behind the name Kamut® dates back to the late 1940s when an American airman claimed to have discovered a handful of ancient Khorasan wheat kernels in an Egyptian tomb, explaining the nickname: King Tut’s Wheat. It’s more likely the airman purchased the kernels from a street merchant in Cairo, Egypt.

These kernels eventually made their way to a Montana County Fair where they attracted the attention of teenager Bob Quinn. Bob and his father were so intrigued by the seed, that they later tracked down the grain and began cultivating it, organically. The brand’s founders believed that this wheat held exceptional nutritional qualities and sought to reintroduce it to the world.

Once the grain started gaining popularity in the late 1970s for its unique taste as well as its nutritional benefits, the Quinns decided to trademark the grain as Kamut® in order to preserve the grain’s primitive purity. Any consumer who wished to purchase Khorasan could be sure that any grain boasting the Kamut® brand was untampered and organic.

Now, let’s unzip Khorasan the grain and Kamut® the brand:

Differentiating Khorasan from the Kamut® Brand

It is crucial to understand that Kamut® is not a distinct class of wheat but a brand name selling Khorasan. People sometimes ask us if we sell Kamut®, and we have to explain that we sell Khorasan, but we don’t license it through Kamut® International. We grow Khorasan on our own organic farm and ship it directly to our customers. We do not operate under Kamut® International; therefore, we do not call our Khorasan ‘Kamut®.’

Organic Khorasan Berries

To illustrate this further:

Consider the example of “Kleenex” and facial tissue. Kleenex® is not the name of the tissue itself but a brand that sells it. The widespread use of “Kleenex” to refer to any facial tissue highlights how brand names can become synonymous with the products they sell.

Just as Kleenex® is a well-known brand of facial tissue, Kamut® is a brand that markets Khorasan. Kamut® is not a wheat variety but a brand name that sells Khorasan wheat. The popularity of the Kamut® brand has led many to mistakenly believe that Kamut® is the name of the wheat variety when, in fact, it is simply a marketing label for Khorasan.

Understanding Khorasan Wheat

Khorasan is an ancient variety of wheat believed to have originated in the Fertile Crescent, which includes regions of present-day Iran, Iraq, and Central Asia. Named after the Khorasan region, the grain has been cultivated for thousands of years and cherished for its exceptional nutritional value and distinct flavor. Other names for Khorasan include Oriental wheat and its botanical names, Triticum turgidum ssp. Turanicum, or Triticum turanicum.

Head of Organic Khorasan

Khorasan kernels are generally larger than modern wheat varieties, with a rich, amber hue. It boasts a unique nutritional and flavor profile. This includes higher protein content to help with muscle building, many vitamins and minerals to help the various organs and systems in the body function correctly, and some essential fatty acids to bolster the metabolism and balance hormones. It’s easy to see why this grain has captured the attention of health-conscious individuals seeking alternatives to refined grains in their diets.

Let’s discover some of Khorasan’s many uses:

Khorasan’s flavor has been described as rich, nutty, and buttery. With words like those, it’s easy to understand how the grain became so beloved. Khorasan is a popular grain to use in cereals, baked goods, and pasta.

Breads made from Khorasan will taste delicious; however, they may be a little dense and crumbly. This is due to the gluten structure of Khorasan, which is different from the modern wheat to which we are accustomed. This same difference in gluten structure may cause less inflammation and discomfort in individuals who are sensitive to wheat gluten. It is not, however, recommended as a safe option for those with Celiac Disease.

Conclusion:

It is crucial to understand that Kamut® is a brand name that sells Khorasan wheat, not a wheat variety itself. Khorasan, with its ancient origins and exceptional nutritional profile, has become a beloved grain among health-conscious consumers. While the Kamut® brand has played a significant role in promoting Khorasan wheat, we want to clarify that we have no affiliation with the brand. Our focus is on growing and selling Khorasan while upholding its historical identity and nutritional qualities. By differentiating between the grain and the brand, we can appreciate the true value and heritage of Khorasan wheat beyond its association with a specific marketing label.

Organic Khorasan Berries

Khorasan by Grand Teton Ancient Grains

Khorasan by Grand Teton® Ancient Grains is 100% organically grown and meets our high standards for purity, quality, and nutritional content.

Non-Affiliate Disclaimer:

Kamut® is a trademark of Kamut International. Kleenex® is a trademark of Kimberly -Clark.

This website is not endorsed by, directly affiliated with, maintained, authorized, or sponsored by Kamut International or Kimberly-Clark. All product and company names are the registered trademarks of their original owners. The use of any trade name or trademark is for identification and reference purposes only and does not imply any association with the trademark holder of their product brand.

https://wholegrainscouncil.org/blog/2017/12/khorasan-wheat-story-ancient-grain

3 thoughts on “Kamut® vs Khorasan: Unraveling the Brand Name Misconception”

  1. what is Khorasan botanically related to?

    do you grown it on your own property or is it sourced from elsewhere?
    I think your products are glyphosate free, correct?

    thanks, dia

    1. Hi Dia!

      The taxonomical name for Khorasan is Triticum turgidum L. subsp. turanicum which indicates that it is closely related to durum wheat (Triticum turgidum L. subsp. durum)
      Some of the Khorasan we sell is grown right here on our farm, but since we have a limited amount of land, we work with several other organic farmers in the area to grow all of the grain we will need for the year.

      As for glyphosate, we do not use it on our crops and we also send our grains to a lab for testing to make sure they are glyphosate free, as an additional precaution.

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