Hardly anyone will argue that dishes from different cereals are very important for a person. They are useful from different points of view, bring variety to the diet, are indispensable in various diets and baby food. Before the beginning of globalization, many types of cereals and the corresponding dishes from them were geographically tied. Now we have free access to both familiar grain products and almost forgotten or unusual ones imported from other countries. Probably, everyone will be interested to know how and from what various cereals are made.
Wheat: bulgur, couscous, spelt, semolina and wheat
I want to start with her. We have nowhere without this grain: many products are made from it, and what is obtained at the output depends on the type, variety and method of grain processing. All wheat cereals contain a large amount of carbohydrates and are therefore very nutritious. It is also necessary to remember that such products contain gluten, so they are not suitable for people who avoid it for some reason.
Cereals are made from the same raw material — durum wheat. The difference is only in the size of the individual particles. The mature grain is cleaned, then moistened and kept for half an hour to 2 hours to soften the shells. Then, on special equipment, the outer films and embryos are removed, ground and crushed. After the birth of cereals occurs: the crushed grain is sequentially sieved on different sieves.
The smaller the particles, the shorter the cooking time, and the finished dish is more tender.
Krupa is an alien who from time to time rises on the waves of fashion and acquires fantastic features. However, what we consider to be a novelty, upon closer examination, it does not turn out to be. Bulgur groats have been known since biblical times and have deeply rooted manufacturing traditions. Previously, it was made by hand from the best grain. Nowadays, only a few can afford such a laborious process.
Durum wheat grains are boiled or steamed until soft, then dried. After that, they are moistened and cleaned again-shelled, dried again. Next, they crush — and get cereals of varying degrees of grinding, which acquires a “non-toxic” taste and cooks very quickly. People who, for various reasons, are not recommended to eat rice, successfully replace it with bulgur.
Semolina is produced simultaneously with flour. After grinding the endosperm (the central part of the grain, from which the shells and embryos were separated during primary processing), sieving takes place — the separation of the remaining large grain particles. This, in fact, is the semolina known to everyone — a delicious, very quickly boiled cereal that is well absorbed by the body and is suitable for dietary and baby food.
This “newfangled” grits are made from semolina (a brand that consists only of durum, translucent, yellowish in color) by the reverse crushing method — gluing. The initial product is slightly moistened, stirred, shaken — and small particles clump. They are powdered with flour or the same semolina, sifted and dried, the size of the particles is up to 2 mm. It turns out a wonderful product that tastes like pasta. As a rule, couscous is steamed to make a crumbly side dish.
A well-forgotten product that has again received some distribution. In general, spelt is a group of types of soft wheat, wild and not only. It was not subjected to selective processing and therefore remained the closest to the original state. It can be considered the progenitor of modern wheat. A distinctive feature of grain is a high content of fiber, proteins, vitamins and trace elements, a low glycemic index and a small amount of gluten. These properties attract the attention of vegans, raw foodists and supporters of a healthy diet.
Spelt is also an ancient cereal, a natural hybrid of spelt and wild wheat. It was from him that modern soft wheat varieties originated. In most cases, spelt is now grown. Spelt appears on sale in the form of whole grains for germination, already in sprouted form, peeled and crushed, as cereals and flour.
This cereal plant has a huge food value — grain is used to make cereals, feed for farm animals, and is used in brewing.
To obtain cereals, the grains are peeled from the husk, then processed so that only the endosperm remains. After grinding the grains against each other, so that they become smooth and look like pearls – pearls. The elite version of pearl barley is Dutch. It is distinguished by a finer grain and is used for haute cuisine dishes.
In the production of barley, the barley grain is not ground — it is only cleaned and well crushed in the mill. That is, the grains are pointed and consist not only of the central part of the grain, but there are also shells. Occasionally there is flattened barley groats — during production, grain is passed between rollers, not millstones, almost flakes are obtained.
This cereal is made from millet, an annual plant from the Poaceae family. Yellow grains in the form of tiny balls are the kernels of grains that are obtained by stripping. Most often, ground millet is found on sale (without shells and germ), but sometimes you can find a byproduct of millet stripping — crushed millet, good liquid porridge is obtained from it. A rare guest of the counters is millet—shingle, only flower films are cleaned off during its production.
Buckwheat is made from Fagopyrum esculentum, a bread and honey plant. There are several fractions of cereals.
- Nucleolus — after maturation, the kernels are separated from the husk with minimal mechanical impact. Large pyramidal grains of green color are obtained, after roasting — brown.
- Done (section) — crushed into 2-4 parts of the kernel;
- Flake. They are produced in two ways: by flattening or thin slicing.
Quinoa and amaranth
New items in our diet that are at the peak of gastronomic fashion. Quinoa is a plant of the Amaranthaceae family, originating from South America. In ancient times, it played an important role in the diet of the Indians. Cereals are produced in the same way as millet from millet, these plants are similar. On the one hand, the nutritional value of quinoa is very high, on the other hand, its uniqueness is clearly exaggerated, since in some respects it is inferior, for example, to buckwheat.
Amaranth is no less an ancient plant. Many people think that amaranth and quinoa are the same thing, but this is not so. Amaranth belongs to the same family (Amaranthaceae), and the same conditions are required for its cultivation, but the grains of this crop can be considered a real superfood, their composition is so unique and amazing. For example, amaranth is the only grain containing phytosterols (a plant analogue of cholesterol).
Rice and “black rice”
On the one hand, everything is simple here: rice groats are obtained from the rice plant of the Poaceae family. The culture is very demanding and whimsical, it is not possible to grow it everywhere. There are a huge number of types and varieties of rice. Any hostess probably saw whole shelves with packages of this white or yellowish cereal of different types — round, long, for pilaf, for porridge, for risotto, for sushi, etc. And if it is not difficult to navigate in these names, then rice of different colors often raises questions. We’ll figure it out.
- Brown rice is unpolished grains of ordinary rice, that is, only the hard inedible shell is removed during processing. It is characterized by an increased content of vitamins and minerals.
- Red rice. There are two products that can be sold under this name. One is wild rice with red-brown grains, the second is ordinary ground rice that has undergone fermentation with the presence of the fungus Monascus purpureus, which secretes a bright pigment. The second option is quite rare and is more used in traditional Chinese medicine.
- Black rice. But this is not rice at all. The cereal got its name because of its similarity to ordinary rice, but black rice is made from the plant Zizania latifolia. Nowadays it is fashionable to prepare a side dish from such cereals for serving with seafood.
Of course, we have not listed all the cereals. There is, for example, an interesting cereal made from the trunk of Metroxylon sagu and Cycas revoluta. Now sago is a real exotic. Like sorghum, it is a product produced from the plant of the same name, similar in part to rice. It can be imagined by recalling natural brooms: they are knitted from a technical type of sorghum.
Dear readers, was any information from this article unexpected for you? Which of the listed cereals are present in your diet on a regular basis, and which ones are you just looking at? Share it in the comments.