Spelt is a hard-grained heirloom wheat, with genes going back to cultivars planted in Neolithic times in the Fertile Crescent of the Middle East. Its scientific name is Triticum spelta, and its often-used German name is Dinkel. Mankind’s first known brewers, the Sumerians, almost certainly made beer from spelt. Spelt is the result of a cross between Emmer (Triticum dicoccum) and wild grasses in Mesopotamia some 10,000 years ago. See emmer. Emmer, in turn, is a cross between Einkorn (Triticum monococcum), which is an even older wheat variety, and wild grasses. See einkorn wheat. In Europe, spelt is known to have been cultivated at least since the late Bronze Age, some 3,000 years ago, mostly in the regions inhabited by the Alemans, a Germanic tribe in what is now the German State of Baden-Württemberg and the German-speaking part of Switzerland. In the Middle Ages, spelt was also known as Schwabenkorn (Swabia grain), because the southwestern German region of Swabia (part of Baden-Württemberg) was then the center of spelt cultivation. Spelt places few demands on soil quality and climate, which means that it can grow where modern wheat (Triticum aestivum) cannot. Today, interest in ancient grains is rising, and craft brewers in Europe and the United States are starting to rediscover spelt. Used at proportions approaching 50% of the grist, spelt malt gives mild, nutty flavors backed by tangy acidic notes.