Why a Fonio pasta?
That’s a legitimate question, given the fact this is the first ever pasta made with Fonio in the world. For us at Obà this means real innovation, likewise our decision to manage the authorization of the EU Commission to introduce Fonio as Novel Food.
Why a Fonio pasta? Honestly, we asked ourselves the same question before starting: corn, rice, teff, sorghum, quinoa, buckwheat, legumes ... just to mention some of the ingredients of gluten-free pastas on the market. So, why a Fonio pasta, why is it different from the others, what benefits does it bring and to whom? Those are the points we are going to share with you. We decided to develop two kind of pastas:
What makes our pasta unique? Without a doubt its fragrance and the genuine ingredients. In terms of texture, such an artisanal product is obviously different from the “yellowish” industrial corn pastas, but if you are interested in the rustic taste of a whole-grain flour then the Fonio Obà pasta is perfect for you!
Fonio Obà pasta is made only with water and flour, it has the delicate aroma of the original grain, exactly as it was 5,000 years ago. This is the first characteristic that makes Fonio the ideal choice for a healthy diet: unlike other grains, although defined as ancient, Fonio has never gone through a laboratory nor it is the result of "genetic selection". This grain is still cultivated by small rural communities in the arid sub-Saharan area. So, it is not the result of intensive agricultural practices which have a high yield, as much as the associated environmental negative impact.
On the other hand, we do realize that gluten-free pastas already exist for all kind of tastes, even though 90% of the offer is based on yellow corn. In fact, the workability of yellow corn dough is higher than other gluten-free flours and the cost of 30 cents per kg represents a good incentive for the industry. The market is then fairly limited and, to be realistic, it is almost impossible that consumers of wheat "traditional" pasta eat a gluten-free one, except when they are guests (polite and considerate) at a celiac’s home.
The same considerations should have held us back from launching Fonio Obà in grains and flour a year ago, but instead we did it and it has been a great success: demand has been increasing month after month and both consumers and professionals enjoys Fonio. This is even more amazing given the challenging access to the distribution and the facts that the grain was unknown.
Fonio Obà is appreciated for the delicate taste, versatility and high nutritional properties, being a source of proteins, fibers, rich in mineral such as iron and zinc, supply of B vitamins, with a low glycemic index and a low nickel content.
We developed two artisanal pastas without any additive, bronze-drawn and slow-drying to preserve the nutrients. The delicate flavor perfectly blends with all the seasonings enhancing the ingredients’ taste.
We are not aiming to a pasta which is a "clone" of wheat pasta. There are already several industrial yellow corn pastas on the grocery shelves, which by means of treated flours or emulsifiers such as mono and diglycerides of fatty acids (obtained from palm oil or from slaughter waste) have a texture similar to the traditional pasta with gluten.
Our pasta is 100% natural, with a unique flavor, very light and digestible, which holds up to cooking, - although the one with brown rice is naturally more delicate than white corn one - which does not release starch during cooking and, never sticking, it is perfect for delicious pasta salads.
We hope you will get the chance to give it a try and we look forward to hearing your feed-back.