Wheat is the most abundant type of grain in terms of its spread, production, nutritive value, consumption, but also of its importance in the international trade. As the key farming produce, wheat is valued for flour, bread, pastry, pasta and so on production. A grain of wheat consists of three parts: an outer husk, inner grain (endosperm) and germ. Integral (whole) wheat grain is one of the best sources of proteins, also containing significant amounts of important vitamins and minerals. Today, a rather depleted wheat produce is in use – the white flour. It contains the least beneficial ground and bleached parts of the grain, while the most beneficial – its husk, bran and germ – are removed.
RELIGION AND TRADITION
In Christian cultures, bread constitutes the essential offering in liturgical rites and is a symbol of the Body of Christ. It is also used in other sacred and mystical ceremonies. In Serbs, wheat is an essential element of a family patron saint’s day, signifying resurrection of the dead.
Vuk Karadžić collected a lot of material about celebrating a family patron saint’s day in Serbs. The best indicator are the toasts proposed on given occasions:
In whose health this wine is drunk, may he enjoy health and joy, may his white wheat and wine be plentiful, and his home of boys be full.
Knez Lazar je odaslao poziv za pomoć svoj srpskoj vlasteli, sa kletvom koja je uz nju išla:
“Whoever shares with me this heritage,
And he comes not to fight at Kosovo,
May he never have the progeny
His heart desires, neither son nor daughter;
Beneath his hand let nothing decent grow-
Neither purple grapes nor wholesome wheat!'“
In the history of humankind, grain was the key to a revolutionary change in the way of life. Food could be stored, thus available in the times of unfavourable weather conditions and when hunt was not possible. So people could stay in one place. The ancient civilisations new how to grind the grain and make bread, thus becoming a symbol of human food.