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Khorasan wheat, often known by one popular brand name thereof, KAMUT®, is an ancient grain that is related to modern-day wheat, but has a number of differences. Does it have the halachic status of wheat, e.g., with regard to chametz and suitability for matzah, or whether its berachah is hamotzi / mezonos?

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It has gluten, so I'd guess it's real dagan. Do you have any reason to assume not? –  Double AA Jun 8 '12 at 14:48
...and chadash, birkat hamazon, challah... –  Double AA Jun 8 '12 at 15:03
@DoubleAA - just because the five species of dagan have gluten doesn't mean that anything with gluten is dagan. (This is especially true if shiboles shual is oats, which IIUC do not have gluten.) –  Dave Jun 8 '12 at 15:24
The next questions should be about the halachic statuses of eichut and mahut. –  Isaac Moses Jun 8 '12 at 16:03
@DoubleAA my point is that you can't say that the definition of dagan is "grains which have gluten" if one of them doesn't. The fact that we don't know of any non-dagan with gluten doesn't mean that gluten is definitional to dagan (though it is admittedly strong evidence of being a related species). –  Dave Jun 8 '12 at 18:17

3 Answers 3

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Per CRC-Chicago

Kamut is a variety of wheat which can become Chametz if mixed with water and left unattended for 18 minutes.

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Like any fruit, wheat can have different varieties. Just because it is larger or slightly easier to digest does not make it something else other than wheat. It grows the same way, it is harvested much the same way, it is ground to flour, and it is used for bread. While it's conceivable that the 18-minute rule for Matzah might need to be adjusted because of the unique properties of this variety of wheat (although I'm not suggesting that this is the case; I'm just pointing out one possible ramification that could be discovered in using a "different" variety of a grain), the same can be said of baking Matzah in different climates, using different sources of water, etc. In other words, while some might think to add new stringencies to account for differences, that does not mean it is a different thing than is "traditionally" used.

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Is 18 minutes just for wheat, or for all 5 (wheat rye spelt 2- and 6-row barley)? –  Double AA Jun 8 '12 at 15:20
I suppose I should just ask. –  Double AA Jun 8 '12 at 15:22
@DoubleAA, it's irrelevant to my answer, since, first of all, I was coming up with some conceivable difference that ultimately doesn't really matter, and second of all, the point is about something that is (at least to the questioner) different from those things that are known to have that rule. –  Seth J Jun 8 '12 at 17:29
Don't feel bad though; the fact that the only source we can find is in the last ~10 years gives a lot of credence to your argumentation. –  Double AA Jun 8 '12 at 19:18

Obviously, we're not going to find the word "khorasan" anywhere in the classic literature, so the best I can do for a proof that's based on sources more than 25 years old will have to utilize some indirect evidence.

I figure, if these two types of dagan (grain) aren't kilayim with each other:

barley oats than certainly these two aren't! I bet you can't even tell which of these is the khorasan wheat:

khorasan wheat regular wheat

(pics from wikipedia)

I now assume that no non-dagan species can be non-kilayim with a dagan species. I have no proof to this, but I have no evidence of any counterexamples despite some time spent examining the kilayim possibilities of the different types of dagan in the Mishna cited above; additionally this principle seems very reasonable as I would think that their different statuses with regard to dagan would distinguish the two species enough to be different for the laws of kilayim as well.

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I could see someone arguing, by the same logic, that barley is a type of wheat. It surely looks more like wheat than like oats! But in fact the Mishnah puts them in separate categories. –  Dave Jun 13 '12 at 14:06
@Dave [I was not planning on bringing this up here, but you've just proven to yourself that Shibbolet Shua'l is not oats, but actually 6-row barley, while Se'ora is 2-row barley. This answer assumes as we discussed above that oats are Shibbolet Shu'al.] –  Double AA Jun 13 '12 at 15:48
@Dave Well if extreme similarity of appearance and taxonomy is not an indication of non-kilayim, then what is? Are you suggesting that we need to be machmir not to plant any variant cultivars together lest it be kilayim because we have lost the ability to properly distinguish species? –  Double AA Jun 13 '12 at 15:50
@Dave And as regards barley specifically: wheat and barley are in different geni (but the same family), while regular wheat and khorasan wheat are in the same genus, just different species. I am not a botanist, but I assume that means there are more physical similarities between the wheats than to the barley. To differentiate at the species level would be like to differentiate between bread wheat (T. aestivium) and noodle wheat (T. durum). (FTR wheat, both barleys, rye and spelt are all in the tribe Triticae. Oats are in the tribe Aveneae.) –  Double AA Jun 13 '12 at 16:51
"... in different geni ... " The plural of genus is genera. "Geni" is the rare vocative singular of "genius", as in "hey, genius." Not all Latin words ending in -us are masculine or second declension. "Genus" is third declension neuter. en.wiktionary.org/wiki/genus#Latin –  user5380 May 6 '14 at 3:46

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