Cereal : A cereal is a plant cultivated mainly for its grains, that is to say its fruits (caryopsis), used in food for humans and domestic animals, often ground ou crushed in the form of all-purpose flour refined or more or less complete, but also in whole grains (these plants are also sometimes consumed in the form of fodder). The term "cereal" also specifically designates the grains of these plants.
History of cereal farming: We recently found in a cave in Niassa (north-western Mozambique) traces of cereals (sorghum, a priori wild), on stone scrapers dating from the Stone Age (-100 000 years). These could be the first known traces of the transformation of grains into flour or oatmeal. This flour or the crushed grains were undoubtedly eaten with fruits or tubers or perhaps already in fermented porridge. Other experts interviewed by the journals Nature or Science are still skeptical, because before that, the oldest evidence (wheat and barley) was only 23 years old (in present-day occupied Palestine). Perhaps this sorghum was used for something other than eating grain.
Neolithic Revolution (10 BC): The beginnings of agriculture date only 000 years ago when the Neolithic revolutionized the diet of humanity.
In the Middle Ages: With the agricultural boom at the start of the XNUMXth century, the surface area of cereal land increased in Western Europe: this progressive phenomenon is called "cerealization". On the other hand, the areas used for breeding tend to decrease in relative value. There are several kinds of cereals, cultivated on the same soil. Medieval documents evoke "wheat" (wheat): this generic term actually covers a range of various cereals: it can designate wheat, but also wheat.spelled,barley,oat or millet. These "wheats" are of unequal quality: the durum wheat is opposed to soft wheat (wheat); white wheat refers to wheat, buckwheat, buckwheat. We also cultivate meslin, a mixture of cereals (wheat and rye) because the separation techniques are rudimentary. The grains we eat today have become very different. The preparation of cereals requires the existence of millstones installed in peasant houses. In the classical Middle Ages, the use of the seigneurial mill was an economic monopoly. It gives rise to the payment of a tax to the representative of the common lord.
- The wheat : wheat sown in autumn and harvested in summer, wheat was the most widely cultivated cereal in the classical Middle Ages. It gradually replaced the usual spelled in the Carolingian era. Wheat is the noble cereal par excellence: it produced high quality bread and was used in the preparation of hosts.
- Theoat : just like wheat, it is a cereal whose progress can be explained by the development of breeding, especially horses. With the rise of chivalry in the XNUMXth and XNUMXth centuries, the need for oats increased. Supply is an essential issue during periods of war. Finally, let's not forget that the horse is also used for its traction force. In the north of France, it is increasingly used for plowing operations. Oats are eaten in the form of porridge. An undemanding cereal, it hardly grows in the Mediterranean environment where the springs are too dry.
- Thebarley is a winter cereal, although it is sometimes sown in spring in Mediterranean regions. It goes into the making of the beer and cervoise. It is given to the cattle and can be breaded with wheat. Its relative importance tends to decrease during the Middle Ages.
- The rye is sown in winter and grows mainly in the mountains. Its flour makes it possible to produce a black bread of mediocre quality, which will give the expression "to eat your black bread" (See Bread under Slang).
- The corn (or corn in Canada) is an annual tropical herbaceous plant with large leaves lanceolate, widely cultivated as a cereal for its starch-rich grains, but also as a fodder plant
- The millet is a spring cereal and can be planted as a catch-up until May-June.
- The meslin refers to the mixture of two cereals (wheat and rye) grown on the same plot.
- The rice is cultivated in the wetlands of Spain and Italy at the end of the Middle Ages. It is found on the markets of Champagne fairs.
At the start of the 45st century, cereals provided the bulk (XNUMX%) of mankind's dietary calories.
In botany, cereals group together plants of the family of Poaceae (formerly Grasses). Certain seeds from other botanical families are sometimes commonly referred to as cereals, such as buckwheat (Polygonaceae), quinoa and amaranth (Chenopodiaceae) or sesame (Pedaliaceae). However, not being Poaceae, the latter are not cereals in the strict sense, and they are often given the name of pseudo-cereals.
Their name comes from Latin cerealis, which refers to Ceres, Roman mythological goddess of the harvest. It is also found in the binomial name of rye: Dry cereal.
It is considered that the cultivation of cereals allowed the rise of great civilizations, because it was one of the first agricultural activities. Indeed, by providing regular and abundant food to populations, cereals have enabled the organization of denser and more complex societies. This is due to the fact that the yields are high and the conservation of the seeds is good, which allows the constitution of reserves.
This is how Middle Eastern and then European civilizations were built around wheat, those of the Far East around millet in China, rice (to the south) and wheat (to the north), those of the Amerindian peoples around the corn and those of subequatorial Africa around millet.
These cereals all come from wild cereals by domestication, that is to say by selection and crossing. Thus, DNA analyzes show that theeinkorn is the wild cereal that gave birth to wheat; it succeeded the starch plant, followed by spelled; wheat descends from these cereals by crosses. Likewise, the corn was obtained by domestication of the teosinte.
Rice : Rice is a cereal (family of Poaceae, formerly grasses - Botanical name: Oryza sativa) humid tropical, subtropical, equatorial and warm temperate regions, the fruit of which is a caryopsis (it's a achene whose seed is welded to the pericarp) rich in starch.
The word "rice" designates all the plants of the genus Oryza, among which the only two species cultigens, which are grown most often in more or less flooded fields called paddy fields: Oryza sativa (commonly referred to as "Asian rice") and Oryza glaberrima (commonly called "West African rice" or "Casamance rice").
In common parlance, the term rice most often refers to the grains of white rice, which are a staple of the diet of many populations around the world, especially in South America, Africa and Asia. It is the world's leading cereal for human consumption, the second after maize for the tonnage harvested. Rice is the staple food of Asian, Chinese, Indian and Japanese cuisine in particular.
There are nearly 8000 varieties of rice in the world which are grouped according to the length of the grains: short grain (or round grain), medium grain or long grain rice. The grain of rice with its husks (rice in a straw) or husked is prepared for consumption. Unshelled, it is called paddy rice.
Description : Rice is an annual plant glabrous with erect or spreading thatch of variable height, ranging from less than one meter to five meters for floating rice. It is a plant predisposed to tillering, forming a cluster of stems, with fasciculate roots. The flowers, in spikelets uniflores, are grouped into panicles 20 to 30 cm, erect or hanging. The fruit is a caryopsis wrapped in two lemmas large, leathery and adherent, the whole forming the whole rice. The density of bulk raw white rice is about 0,9 g / cm3.
According to the texture of the karyopsis, we distinguish the ordinary varieties, with tegument white, most often, or red; or glutinous (or sticky rice, sweet rice). The varieties of African rice are generally red integument.
The rice belongs to the genus Oryza L. which includes 22 species, two of which are cultivated, Oryza sativa L., native to Asia, the most cultivated and Oryza glaberrima Steud., or Casamance rice, native to West Africa.
Oryza sativa originates from various domestication events that took place around 5000 BC. AD in North India, and around the Sino-Burmese border. The wild relative of cultivated rice is Oryza rufipogon (formerly the annual forms of Oryza rufipogon were named Oryza nivara). Not to be confused with rice called wild rice (or discord), of the botanical genus Zizania.
Oryza glaberrima originates from the domestication of Oryza barthii. It is not known where domestication took place, but it appears to date from before 500 BC. JC.
In recent decades, this rice has been cultivated less and less in Africa, where Asian rice is increasingly preferred. Today, hybrid sativa-glaberrima varieties combining the qualities of both species are distributed under the name "Nérica".
Cereals - Rice and Seeds in alphabetical order:
- Flour - Summary table of types of French flour
- Wholemeal flour
- Whole wheat flour
- Spelt flour
- Barley flour
- Wheat flour
- Durum wheat flour
- Broad bean flour
- Wheat flour
- Oatmeal flour
- Kamut flour
- Corn flour
- Malt flour
- Rye flour
- Flour flower
- Faba bean
- Black Fonio
- Foutou (African cuisine)
- Froot Loops
- Fufu (African cuisine)