Making wheat into bulgur is an ancient process that originated in the Mediterranean region and has been an integral part of Middle Eastern cuisine for thousands of years. It may, in fact, be man’s first “processed food.”
The ancient preparation process is still used in small villages in the eastern Mediterranean: boiling the wheat in huge pots (sometimes for days) until thoroughly cooked, spreading out on flat rooftops to dry in the sun, then cracking the hardened kernels into coarse pieces and sieving them into different sizes for various uses. Bulgur remained exclusively a traditional food of the Mediterranean region for many years.
Modern nutritionists discovered what the ancients already knew: the value of bulgur as a “perfect food” in terms of palatability and keeping quality.
To learn more on bulgur processing, we visited the Charara family mill in Saghbine, West Bekaa and watched the whole process from the moment wheat arrived to the mill, until it was boiled, dried under July hot sun, and cracked into bulgur.