Chef Sim Cass to Teach “Baking with the Ancient Grain Zea” Class in New Jersey

Αssociated Press

Zea, the ancient Greek staple, is the featured ingredient of the cooking class “Baking with the Ancient Grain Zea” with Chef Sim Cass, founding baker of New York City’s acclaimed Balthazar Bakery. Photo: Courtesy of Demetra Organics

CRANFORD, NJ – The cooking class “Baking with the Ancient Grain Zea” with Chef Sim Cass, founding baker of New York City’s acclaimed Balthazar Bakery, takes place on Tuesday, May 15, 1-5 PM at the Little Fox Kitchen, 1 South Ave. E (entrance is at  South Union Ave. side) in Cranford, NJ. Chef Cass will demonstrate his master craft of artisanal bread and pastry making with hard-Zea and soft-Zea flour from Greece provided exclusively by Demetra Organics.

He will cover sourdough bread, sourdough starter and maintenance, bagels, scones, pies and more, all made with Demetra Organics’ Zea flour from Greece. The opportunity to bake with this master chef and the versatile ancient grain Zea should not be missed.

Chef Cass is the Dean of the Professional Bread Baking Program at the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) in New York. As noted on the ICE website, “through his work at the world-renowned Balthazar Bakery, he quickly became one of the industry's most well-respected bread experts, sparking our nation's now widespread passion for hand-crafted, naturally fermented loaves.”

More information and registration for the event is available online at:

Thousands of years ago in Greece, a durable and resistant grain was cultivated for its unique nutritional qualities and ability to withstand the elements, weather, and diseases. Today’s common wheat was not consumed in any form by the ancient Greeks. Instead, Zea wheat was the main staple for every level of this ancient society. They traded it at local markets, treasured it as a cultural secret and revered it as an ancient symbol of a bountiful harvest, according toPedanius Dioscorides (40-90 AD), a Greek physician, pharmacologist, and botanist.

Zea, pronounced as /?zea/, ancient grain wheat named by the ancient Greeks ζείδωρος (/?zi?oros/) meaning Life-Giving. It is rich in dietary fiber, B-vitamins and minerals, attributed to Greece’s remarkably fertile environment, a harmonic union of everlasting sun and flowing water in the bountiful soil. With just traces of gluten it is far superior to today’s common wheat products.

Demetra Organics was founded to promote a healthy, modern lifestyle supported by unique agricultural food products of Greece. The Zea wheat improved the health and well-being of the Greeks for thousands of years. Demetra Organics is gathering a growing community of local farmers in the most fertile regions of Greece to resurrect the production of these nourishing grains for today’s consumer market. By supporting small farmers, Demetra Organics is dedicated to stimulating the local economy and providing a sustainable way of life for those who have been hit the hardest by the Greek economic crisis.

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