Wheat is a worldwide cultivated grass which originated from the Levant area of the Middle East. Globally, after maize, wheat is the second most produced food among the cereal crops; rice ranks third. Wheat grain is a staple food used to make flour for leavened, flatbreads and steamed breads; cookies, cakes, pasta, noodles and couscous; and for fermentation to make beer, alcohol or vodka.
Although wheat supplies much of the world's dietary protein and food supply, as many as one in every 100 to 200 people has Coeliac disease, a condition which results from an inappropriate immune system response to a protein found in wheat: gluten (based on figures for the United States).
As a food
Raw wheat can be powdered into flour, germinated and dried creating malt, crushed and de-branned into cracked wheat, parboiled (or steamed), dried, crushed and de-branned into bulgur, or processed into semolina, pasta, or roux. They are a major ingredient in many foods.
Cracked wheat is wheat grains that have been partially crushed or cracked. It is often confused with, but not the same as bulgar wheat.