|The History of Cereal: Why Do We Put Milk on Cereal?|
History of cereal grains is as ancient as history itself. Before agriculture was developed, wild grasses and cereals were the staples of the human diet. Grain, though not as abundant as wheat or rye, gave humans the food they needed to grow healthy and fit. Ancient peoples, including Egyptians, did not have access to stores of grain. However, they used the grains they did have to bake bread and make their most nutritious mixtures for consumption.
The history of cereal is a fascinating one that traces its journey across the globe from pre-historic times to the present day. Throughout human history, people from all corners of the earth have used cereal grains as their basic food source. Throughout North Africa, Egypt, Mesopotamia, and China were some of the first places where cereal was discovered. In many regions across the globe, such as the Near East, grains were discovered in quantities sufficient to support human sustenance. From these early findings, the history of cereal began to be written in black and white.
Why is it called cereal?
The word "cereal"" comes from 'Ceres', the name of the Roman goddess of harvest and agriculture. Grains are called corn in the United Kingdom and Ireland, but in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand corn means maize.
Many of the early civilizations used maize and wheat as their staple grains. For example, the Aztec civilization used maize and wheat as part of their everyday meals. They also used corn and beans, but their bread and cereals were more likely to include wheat. Ancient Egyptian papyrus writings on history of cereal grains also record the discovery of cattle, pigs, and chickens.
The history of cereal grains was further developed during the late nineteenth century by American farmers. The discovery of hydroelectric power had changed the way that wheat and other grains were grown. Instead of being planted in the ground, the seeds were implanted into a bed of rocks. The grains would then be covered with dirt and a layer of brush to help protect them from the vagaries of the weather. As crops grew the weight of the cover soil would force it to settle, creating a firm root structure for the next growing season.
Why do we put milk on cereal?
Even as cereal became more processed and softer, the tendency to soak it in milk never left the public consciousness. Milk was the perfect way to add moisture to the dry food without turning it into a completely soggy mess. Like cereal, milk was also synonymous with health, full of vitamins and calcium.
As late as the end of the nineteenth century, however, many people still depended on manual milling to make flour. The rising costs of machinery had yet to cause the popularity of steamroller mills to surge. In fact, many farmers in western Pennsylvania still used their old-fashioned steamrollers to grind corn, wheat, rice, potatoes, onion, squash, and melons. With the advent of new machines, however, the history of flour began to change. By the twentieth century, mass production methods were beginning to take hold. Flour was no longer made in large quantities; instead it was usually made into cakes and biscuits.
As the history of cereal began to evolve, it became evident that the different grains were not all created equal. Grains that were more commonly used in baking had better texture and quality. Those that were more specialized in the fields of medicine, pastry, and sausage were often left out in the cold.
The development of new grains such as wheat and oats along with the discovery of a new method of milling grain made the history of cereal even more diverse. Before the development of these new products, cereal was often made by boiling water and germs in a large vat until the grains and root pieces were formed. After this was discovered, the history of cereal began to focus more on quality rather than quantity.
No two years are the same when it comes to cereal. This is why today there are countless choices when it comes to choosing the right kind of flour to use. For example, some are far better for creating crackers or bread than others. Each type of cereal and each brand has its own particular story to tell. To better understand the history of cereal, it is essential to do some research.
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