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Q: We were introduced to a new grain product, freekeh, which is the grains from green wheat, similar to wheat-berries. Does it need hashgachah because it is a whole grain (similar to rice) and what bracha do you say on it?
A: Freekeh refers to an ancient method of preparing unripe grains for eating, and may be related to the food called karmel in Vayikra 23:14. In recent years, companies have begun mass-producing a wheat-freekeh which they have been selling in the USA and other countries where it was previously unknown.
If the freekeh is pure without any flavors or sensitive additives, then it may be purchased and consumed even if it is not certified as kosher. If the freekeh is ground into flour (and then used in cooking), cooked as broken-pieces, or cooked to the point that the pieces break or stick together, the bracha rishonah is mezonos. If, however, it is cooked and served as whole-kernels, the proper bracha is ha’adamah.