CARE OF CEREALS
As carriers of disease, cereals are a less dangerous food than any other. This characteristic of cereals is due to the fact that the cooking all of them require in some part of their preparation destroys any disease germs that might be present. They are not likely to be adulterated with harmful material, either; and, in addition, the sealed packages in which many of the cereals are put up keep them clean and free from contamination.
However, care must be given to both the uncooked and the factory-prepared varieties of this food. The packages containing ready-to-eat cereals should not be allowed to remain open for any length of time if it is desired to keep them fresh and crisp, for they absorb moisture from the air very quickly. If they do become moist, however, drying in the oven will in most cases restore their freshness.
If it is necessary to open a single package of prepared cereal and all of the contents cannot be utilized at once, as, for instance, when only one or two persons are to be served with that particular cereal, the best plan is to empty the remainder into cans or jars that are provided with covers.
Uncooked cereals, which are used less quickly than the prepared kinds, are often attacked by mice and other vermin, but such an occurrence can be prevented if the cereal is poured into jars or cans that can be kept tightly closed. Considerable care must be given to flour and cereal products purchased in large quantities, for if they are allowed to collect enough moisture, they will become moldy and lose their flavor, and thus be unfit for use. To preserve them well, they should be kept in metal-lined bins or in bins made of carefully matched boards and in a cool, but not damp, place.
Farina: Wheat or corn
Cream of Wheat: Wheat
Cracked Wheat: Wheat
Hominy Grits: Corn
Wheat Grits: Wheat
Flaked: Rye, wheat, rice, corn
Shredded Grain: Wheat
Malted Grain: Rye, barley, wheat, and corn
Puffed Grain: Corn, rice, wheat
Feed for animals: All grains
PREPARATION OF CEREALS FOR THE TABLE METHODS OF COOKING CEREALS
PURPOSE OF COOKING.
As the so-called ready-to-eat cereals require practically no further preparation, attention is here given to only those cereals which need additional treatment to prepare them properly for the table. Raw grains cannot be taken into the body, for they are neither appetizing nor digestible.
The treatment to which they must be subjected is cooking, for the structure of grains is such that cooking is the only means by which the coverings of the starch granules can be softened and broken to make them digestible. But this is not the only effect produced by cooking; besides making raw cereals digestible, cooking renders them palatable, destroys any bacteria or parasites that might be present, and, by means of its various methods, provides a variety of dishes that would otherwise be very much limited.