Quinoa. Quinoa (/ˈkiːnwɑː/ or /kɨˈnoʊ.ə/, Spanish: quinua, from Quechua: kinwa), a species of goosefoot (Chenopodium), is a grain crop grown primarily for its edible seeds.
It is a pseudocereal rather than a true cereal, as it is not a member of the true grass family. As a chenopod, quinoa is closely related to species such as beetroots, spinach and tumbleweeds. It is high in protein, lacks gluten, and is tolerant of dry soil. Overview Landscape with Chenopodium quinoa Cachilaya Bolivia Lake Titicaca Quinoa (the name is derived from the Spanish spelling of the Quechua name kinwa or occasionally "Qin-wah") originated in the Andean region of Ecuador, Bolivia, Colombia and Peru, where it was successfully domesticated 3,000 to 4,000 years ago for human consumption, though archaeological evidence shows a non-domesticated association with pastoral herding some 5,200 to 7,000 years ago. The nutrient composition is favourable compared with common cereals.
Biology Quinoa seeds. Quinoa. Buckwheat. Buckwheat, with the botanical name Fagopyrum esculentum, is a plant cultivated for its grain-like seeds, and also used as a cover crop.
Despite the name, buckwheat is not related to wheat, as it is not a grass. Instead, buckwheat is related to sorrel, knotweed, and rhubarb. The cultivation of buckwheat grain declined sharply in the 20th century with the adoption of nitrogen fertilizer that increased the productivity of other staples. Oat. The common oat (Avena sativa) is a species of cereal grain grown for its seed, which is known by the same name (usually in the plural, unlike other grains).
While oats are suitable for human consumption as oatmeal and rolled oats, one of the most common uses is as livestock feed. Origin The wild ancestor of Avena sativa and the closely related minor crop, A. byzantina, is the hexaploid wild oat A. sterilis. Genetic evidence shows the ancestral forms of A. sterilis grew in the Fertile Crescent of the Near East.
Domesticated oats appear relatively late, and far from the Near East, in Bronze Age Europe. Barley. Barley (Hordeum vulgare L.), a member of the grass family, is a major cereal grain.
It was one of the first cultivated grains and is now grown widely. Rice. A mixture of brown, white, and red indica rice, also containing wild rice, Zizania species Rice is the seed of the monocot plants Oryza sativa (Asian rice) or Oryza glaberrima (African rice).
As a cereal grain, it is the most widely consumed staple food for a large part of the world's human population, especially in Asia. It is the grain with the second-highest worldwide production, after corn, according to data for 2010. Since a large portion of maize crops are grown for purposes other than human consumption, rice is the most important grain with regard to human nutrition and caloric intake, providing more than one fifth of the calories consumed worldwide by humans. There are many varieties of rice and culinary preferences tend to vary regionally. Rice cultivation is well-suited to countries and regions with low labor costs and high rainfall, as it is labor-intensive to cultivate and requires ample water.
Maize. Maize (/ˈmeɪz/ MAYZ; Zea mays subsp. mays, from Spanish: maíz after Taíno mahiz), known in some English-speaking countries as corn, is a large grain plant domesticated by indigenous peoples in Mesoamerica in prehistoric times.
The leafy stalk produces ears which contain the grain, which are seeds called kernels. Maize kernels are often used in cooking as a starch. History A maize heap at the harvest site, India. Millet. Millets are a group of highly variable small-seeded grasses, widely grown around the world as cereal crops or grains for both human food and fodder.
They do not form a taxonomic group, but rather a functional or agronomic one. Millets are important crops in the semi-arid tropics of Asia and Africa (especially in India, Nigeria, and Niger), with 97% of millet production in developing countries. The crop is favored due to its productivity and short growing season under dry, high temperature conditions. The most widely grown millet is pearl millet, which is an important sized crop in India and parts of Africa. Finger millet, proso millet, and foxtail millet are also important crop species. In the developed world, millets are less important. For example, in the United States the only significant crop is proso millet, which is mostly grown for bird seed. Description The height of the pearl millet plant may range from 0.5 to 4 metres. Kamut. Khorasan wheat or Oriental wheat (Triticum turgidum ssp. turanicum also called Triticum turanicum) is a tetraploid wheat species. It is an ancient grain type; Khorasan refers to a historical region in modern-day Afghanistan and the northeast of Iran.
This grain is twice the size of modern-day wheat and is known for its rich nutty flavor. Taxonomy Original botanical identifications were uncertain. The variety is a form of Triticum turgidum subsp. turanicum (also known as Triticum turanicum), usually called Khorasan wheat. Identifications sometimes seen as T. polonicum are incorrect as the variety, although long-grained, lacks the long glumes of this species. Rye. Rye (Secale cereale) is a grass grown extensively as a grain and as a forage crop.
It is a member of the wheat tribe (Triticeae) and is closely related to barley (Hordeum) and wheat (Triticum). Rye grain is used for flour, rye bread, rye beer, crisp bread, some whiskeys, some vodkas, and animal fodder. Wheat. Wheat (Triticum spp.) is a cereal grain, originally from the Levant region of the Near East and Ethiopian Highlands, but now cultivated worldwide.
In 2010, world production of wheat was 651 million tons, making it the third most-produced cereal after maize (844 million tons) and rice (672 million tons). Wheat was the second most-produced cereal in 2009; world production in that year was 682 million tons, after maize (817 million tons), and with rice as a close third (679 million tons). This grain is grown on more land area than any other commercial food. History Wheat is one of the first cereals known to have been domesticated, and wheat's ability to self-pollinate greatly facilitated the selection of many distinct domesticated varieties.
The archaeological record suggests that this first occurred in the regions known as the Fertile Crescent. Durum. Einkorn wheat. Wild einkorn, Karadag, central Turkey Einkorn wheat (from German Einkorn, literally "single grain") can refer either to the wild species of wheat, Triticum boeoticum, or to the domesticated form, Triticum monococcum. The wild and domesticated forms are either considered separate species, as here, or as subspecies of T. monococcum. Emmer. Taxonomy Strong similarities in morphology and genetics show that wild emmer (Triticum dicoccoides Koern.) is the wild ancestor and a crop wild relative of domesticated emmer (Triticum dicoccum). Because wild and domesticated emmer are interfertile with other tetraploid wheats, some taxonomists consider all tetraploid wheats to belong to one species, T. turgidum.
Under this scheme, the two forms are recognized at subspecies level, thus T. turgidum subsp. dicoccoides and T. turgidum subsp. dicoccom. Either naming system is equally valid; the latter lays more emphasis on genetic similarities. Spelt. Spelt, also known as dinkel wheat, or hulled wheat, is a species of wheat cultivated since the fifth millennium BC. Spelt was an important staple in parts of Europe from the Bronze Age to medieval times; it now survives as a relict crop in Central Europe and northern Spain and has found a new market as a health food.
Spelt is sometimes considered a subspecies of the closely related species common wheat (T. aestivum), in which case its botanical name is considered to be Triticum aestivum subsp. spelta.