Farina (food)


Farina (food)

[
Watertown, MA, October 2004.]

Farina is a cereal food, frequently described as bland-tasting, usually served warm, made from cereal grains. In contemporary English use, the word usually refers to semolina or "Cream of Wheat" made from soft wheat. Wheat farina is a carbohydrate-rich food, often cooked in boiling water and served warm for breakfast, or cooked with milk and made into semolina pudding. It is used as an ingredient in many dishes and in processed foods such as breakfast cereals and pasta.

The word farina comes from either the Italian and Catalan word for "flour"; the old Romanian word for flour, "fărină"; or in Portuguese, "farinha". The Spanish word is "harina", also very close. (This similarity is not surprising, as these are all Romance languages.)

Farina is made from the germ and endosperm of the grain, which is milled to a fine granular consistency and then sifted. Although the bran and most of the germ are removed, this cereal is sometimes enriched with Vitamin B and iron. Farina, by itself, is most often served as a breakfast cereal, but can also be cooked like polenta. Farina can also be used to make farofa. "Cream of Wheat" and Farina Mills's "Farina" (see the photo at right) are brand names of a type of wheat farina used for breakfast cereal.

It is also one of the single best sources of dietary iron available, especially for vegetarian diets, with most brands offering as much as 50% of the recommended daily value in a single 120-calorie serving.

See also

*Grits

In popular culture

*Allen Hoskins's character in the "Our Gang" comedies was named "Farina" after the cereal.

*In the "Futurama" episode "Three Hundred Big Boys", a stem cell rejuvenated Professor Farnsworth orders a "mild farina" in a restaurant - after talking about "living life on the edge" to his date. Although he can pass for 25, he still prefers the bland food appropriate to a 160 year old.

*In "Dr. Katz", Katz refers to farina as "The thinking man's oatmeal".

*The punk band Screeching Weasel mentions Farina in their song "Supermarket Fantasy".

*In the "Seinfeld" episode "The Dinner Party" Jerry talks about when he found a hair in his farina cereal when he was younger.

*In the movie "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou", Mississippi governor Pappy O'Daniel's son tells Tim Blake Nelson's character Delmar O'Donnell that he hopes Delmar will eat his daddy's farina and vote him into a second term.

*In the book "Four Blind Mice"(page 133), part of James Patterson's Alex Cross detective series, farina is referenced as the favorite breakfast food of one of the main characters (John Sampson) .

*In the October 29, 2007, episode of The Daily Show, Jon Stewart alluded to Hurricane Katrina with the line "Its wet and rhymes with farina"

*In John Man's The Survival of Jan Little, the true story of a woman's survival in the Brazilian Amazon jungle after her daughter and husband died, at times the family lives almost excusively on farina when their supplies run out.ISBN: 0140097988. Viking Penquin Inc. 1987


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