In the countries of the former USSR, semolina porridge needs no introduction. Perhaps everyone at least once looked at the dish at ease - with or without pleasure. Why is semolina, so popular in “our” countries, not loved in America, Europe, and other parts of the world? And what is more of the product - benefit or harm? I was looking for answers to questions project LSC together with Teleprogramma.pro.
Briefly about semolina
The basis of the dish is semolina. This is processed wheat, grains of which are 0,5-0,8 mm in diameter. In the process of flour production, the grains are finely ground and sieved, and the remaining larger particles are selected and packaged - that's the whole secret of making. In stores, customers can find a product with three markings: "T" - cereals made from durum wheat, "M" - soft and "TM" - a mixture of two types. The second is quite suitable for cereals and casseroles, and for sweets and pancakes it is better to use cereals marked "T".
Cooking semolina porridge is a simple matter, and most importantly, fast. Due to the small size of the grains and the absence of a hard shell, the groats are cooked faster than their "brothers" - literally 5 minutes after boiling. The dish is cooked in water or milk with butter, dried fruits or without everything. With such additives, the porridge is the most delicious, but also the most high-calorie: its energy value is approximately equal to the calorie content of a piece of cake.
Decoy in Russia and in Europe
For many children, eating semolina turns into torture, although a few hundred years ago this dish was considered a delicacy. In Russia, groats appeared in the XII-XIII centuries, but then they cost too much. Therefore, only noble people could afford it, and she appeared on tables during feasts. Everything changed in Soviet times: cereals made from waste after processing wheat became cheap, generally available and, as a result, popular. This remains to this day, but only in our country.
Why isn't porridge eaten abroad the way it is in Russia? Some experts associate foreigners' dislike for semolina with a high gluten content in it (sticky protein in cereals. - Approx. Ed.). According to research, Europeans are more likely to suffer from gluten intolerance than Russians, and therefore ignore products containing gluten, in particular semolina. True, attention to the issue has intensified only in this century, and the world has not liked semolina before. This fact is explained only by tradition. In Russia, porridge, pies, rich soups have long been cooked, while, say, in Italy they ate seafood and pasta - features of the national cuisine, nothing more.
Most of Italians, French, Spaniards simply do not know what semolina is, and they look at the plate with curiosity if they are offered to try the dish. Of course, there are those who eat the treat to the last spoonful, but most foreigners react skeptically to our dish: “It looks like pancake dough. I would not say that I am delighted. Tasteless. "
Groats are used to make soups, cutlets, desserts, casseroles. But there is a dish of semolina that stands apart - this is Guryev porridge. There are many variations of the recipe, only creamy foam, semolina and sweets for decoration remain unchanged ingredients. The history of the dish also deserves special attention. According to one of the versions, sweet porridge was first prepared by the serf Zakhar Kuzmin, when its owner Georgy Yurisovsky had a dinner party. One of the guests, Finance Minister Dmitry Guryev, liked the treat so much that he bought the chef with his family, and the dish "borrowed" his name.
Later, Guryev's porridge won the hearts (and stomachs) of eminent persons, became a favorite dish of Alexander III, and even saved his life. In 1888, the train with the sovereign derailed near Kharkov. Alexander's office and bedroom were destroyed, but at the time of the crash, the emperor himself was in the surviving dining car - pouring cream into a dessert from semolina.
Benefit or harm
Habits are habits, but the benefits of semolina have recently been increasingly questioned. There are certainly pluses. The main one is the enveloping effect of the product. Porridge on the water is indicated for people with digestive disorders, it relieves spasms and is easily absorbed. And yet, it is worthwhile to introduce a dish into your diet with caution.
Firstly, semolina porridge is called “empty” food: it practically does not contain useful fiber, is inferior to other cereals in nutritional value, refers to fast carbohydrates - it is not so difficult to gain weight if you get carried away with it. Secondly, it contains phytin, a salt that interferes with the absorption of calcium. And the third argument against is the already familiar gluten, which can cause allergies and disrupt digestion even in a healthy adult, not to mention children.
By the way, about the kids. Doctors do not recommend using semolina porridge as a complementary food for babies under one year old, it is better to give preference to rice and buckwheat. And even older children should not be given semolina several times a day, and it is highly undesirable to do it every day. A couple of times a week is the optimal frequency, if the child asks, of course.