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Farina is milled wheat most often used to prepare hot cereal for breakfast. The word "farina" is Latin, meaning meal or flour. It is made from the germ and endosperm of the grain, which is milled to a fine granular consistency and then sifted. This results in a carbohydrate-rich food. When enriched, it is one of the 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. For commercial cereals the bran and most of the germ are removed and is sometimes enriched with Vitamin B and iron. Cream of Wheat, Malt-O-Meal, and Farina Mills are popular brand names of breakfast cereal.
Distinct from Semolina, Farina comes from the same process but is more finely milled. Both are used to make puddings. Semolina, which is more coarse, is frequently used to make pastas. While Farina is finer and more frequently used to make cereal. The cereal is cooked in hot or boiling water or milk and served warm, or made into semolina pudding. Due to its mild taste, the cereal is often flavored with brown sugar, maple, honey, nuts, cinnamon, butter, grated chocolate, jams, salt, fruits and combinations and variations of these items.
Farina can also be cooked like polenta and farofa. It can also be used to prevent dough from sticking to baking surfaces via the baking process, leaving residual farina on the bottom of the final product. This is a common practice for Pizza and English Muffins.