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Historically, wheat has been ground into bread, while rice has been boiled and consumed in "granular" form. Corn has been consumed both ways, "on the cob," and in corn bread.

Why is that?

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IMO it must have to do with preservation. If wheat gets wet, it will quickly start to rot. My own kitchen experience suggests that this is not the case for rice, which normally will just dry up again: after all, rice grows in ponds of water. –  Drux Mar 16 '13 at 5:54
Cereals like barley and oats were often consumed boiled; this became less popular after potato appeared. The problem is the hard crust, which needs to be removed first, and the result is kasha. With wheat there is another problem - too much gluten. The boiled whole-seed wheat kasha would be chocking and nearly non-chewable, in my opinion. The actual wheat kasha (farina) is fine-ground and watered down to the point when it becomes edible but loses almost all of the "cereal" taste. Bread requires more work but tastes much better. –  kubanczyk Mar 16 '13 at 14:14
@Kubancyk: That's a good comment. Please make it an answer. –  Tom Au Mar 16 '13 at 16:47
Wheat has been made into noodles... –  Russell Mar 19 '13 at 8:03

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