General information and profile:
The millet describes a plant genus comprising several small-fruited cereals which is counted as sweet grasses and subdivided into two groups. The so-called sorghum sorghum includes varieties with larger fruits, small-grained species are summarized under the term Millethirsen. The second group includes, among others, the millet, the finger millet, teff or millet millet and the pearl millet. Several species of both groups are widely cultivated and processed into food and feed for pets and pets.
The name of the plant genus derives from the Old Germanic word "hirsa", which translates as "food" or "saturation" means and refers to the role of this cereal as an important staple food. Depending on the species, the millet reaches stature heights of several meters and is very similar in structure to that of corn. Each root forms several shoots with long and narrow, slightly downward curved leaves. The flowers, which are loosely arranged on the panicles, may appear white, yellowish or dark red depending on the species. Millet thrives on almost every continent in the world and prefers sandy soils without waterlogging. Many species are extremely resistant to drought and heat and therefore thrive in warm climates such as Africa and South America. Almost all types of millet are sensitive to frost and can not tolerate cold soils.
History of the cultivation of millet:
The Millethirse culture dates back to the Stone Age. In Europe, it was only gradually replaced by the introduction of potato, which brought the Spanish seafarers from the New World. The sorghum millet is native to Africa and has been brought to the United States and some European countries by the colonial rulers and the slave trade. Sugarcane, in particular, quickly gained in importance in the United States as it was used in the manufacture of sweeteners and molasses. However, the production of sugar millet gradually declined during the 20th century due to the laborious production processes.
Today, millet is mainly cultivated in the United States on a large scale, closely followed by some African and Central American countries. India, China and Australia are also important suppliers of various types of millet.
Use of millet:
Millet is important as a gluten-free cereal and is therefore suitable for people suffering from celiac disease as a tolerable alternative to traditional cereal products. Due to the increasing interest of the people in a balanced and nutrient-rich whole-food nutrition millet has been experiencing a boom in the western world for several decades now as food. The grains are often used as an ingredient for casseroles, salads, dumplings, vegetable dishes, vegetable loaf and gluten-free millet porridge. Alcoholic beverages such as beer and spirits can also be made from millet. Millet is rich in minerals and trace elements, making it an excellent source of iron, silicon, potassium and magnesium. It also contains high-quality fats, essential amino acids, vitamins E and A as well as some B-group vitamins.
Especially Teff, the most important staple food in Ethiopia, is characterized by a high nutrient content and is responsible for making African-born athletes so successful in international competitions. Regular consumption of millet meals also probably helps to strengthen connective tissue as well as skin, hair and nails.