the fact that it is grown in all parts of
and forms the basis for a large amount of the food of most people,
wheat is a
very important grain.
Wheat was probably a native grass of Fertile
Crescent, a region in Western Asia incorporating the Levant and
Mesopotamia, and often incorrectly extended to Egypt.
land of its origin, the use of wheat spread over all the world, but it
was not introduced into America until after the discovery of this
country by Columbus.
is universally used for bread, because it contains a large
of the kind of protein that lends a rubbery consistency to dough and
thus makes possible the incorporation of the gas or air required to
bread light. The use of wheat, however, is by no means restricted to
bread, for, as is well known, many cereal foods are prepared from
this grain. Raw
wheat can be powdered into flour; germinated and dried creating malt;
crushed or cut into cracked wheat; parboiled (or steamed), dried,
crushed and de-branned into bulgur; or processed into semolina, pasta,
or roux. Wheat is a major ingredient in such foods as bread, porridge,
crackers, biscuits, muesli, pancakes, pies, pastries, cakes, cookies,
muffins, rolls, doughnuts, gravy, boza (a fermented beverage), and
breakfast cereals (e.g. Wheatena, Cream of Wheat, Shredded Wheat, and Wheaties).
|Did You Know?
region of the Fertile Crescent broadly corresponds to present-day Iraq,
Syria, Lebanon, Israel/Palestine, Jordan, southeastern fringe of Turkey
and western fringe of Iran. The term "Fertile Crescent" was coined by
University of Chicago archaeologist James Henry Breasted in his
"Ancient Records of Egypt", around 1900. The region was named so due to
its rich soil and crescent shape. It has been suggested that the
biblical 'Garden of Eden' was situated in this region.
considered the cradle of civilization and saw the development of the
earliest human civilizations and is the birthplace of writing and the
Wheat has been cultivated
domestically at least since 9,000 B.C. and probably earlier.
Domesticated Einkorn wheat at Nevali Cori 40 miles northwest of Gobekli
Tepe in Turkey has been dated to 9,000 B.C.
However evidence for the
exploitation of wild barley has been dated to 23,000 B.C. and some say
this is also true of pre-domesticated wheat.