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Farina is a form of starch – flour – milled from a variety of vegetables such as potato and cassava. In the US, the term is associated with wheat middlings: the germ and endosperm of the grain, which are milled to a fine consistency and then sifted. It is often cooked as a hot breakfast cereal, or porridge.
Farina is often prepared as a hot porridge-like dish and served for breakfast. It may also be cooked like polenta and farofa, which are made with ground corn. Farina with milk and sugar is sometimes used for making creams for layered cakes. Farina can be used as a substitute for bread crumbs in sweet and meat pies (to absorb excess water). 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.
Farina is a carbohydrate-rich food. When enriched with iron, it can be a significant source of dietary iron, especially for vegetarian diets. Popular brands offer up to 50% of the recommended daily value of iron in a single 500-kilojoule (120-kilocalorie) serving. In commercially available farina, the bran and most of the germ are removed. Cream of Wheat, Malt-O-Meal, and Farina Mills are popular brand names of breakfast cereal. To augment its mild taste, popular add-ins to cooked farina include brown or granular sugar, maple, honey, molasses, fruit, nuts, cinnamon, butter, grated chocolate, jams, milk, and salt.