Wheat is grown on more than 218,000,000 hectares. World trade in wheat is greater than for all other crops combined. With rice, wheat is the world's most favored staple food. Wheat offers ease of grain storage and ease of converting grain into flour for making edible, palatable, interesting and satisfying foods. Wheat is the most important source of carbohydrate in a majority of countries.
Barley is a member of the grass family and one of the major cereal grain. Barley grain is a staple in Tibetan cuisine and was eaten widely by peasants in Medieval Europe. Barley has also been used as animal fodder, as a source of fermentable material for beer and certain distilled beverages, and as a component of various health foods. In a 2007 ranking of cereal crops in the world, barley was fourth both in terms of quantity produced and in area of cultivation.
Maize known in some English-speaking countries as corn, is a large grain plant domesticated by indigenous peoples in Mesoamerica in prehistoric times. Maize kernels are often used in cooking as a starch and cornmeal, which are constitute a staple food in many regions of the world
Pea is an annual plant, with a life cycle of one year. It is a cool season crop grown in many parts of the world; planting can take place from winter to early summer depending on location. The immature peas are used as a vegetable, fresh, frozen or canned; varieties of the species typically called field peas are grown to produce dry peas like the split pea shelled from the matured pod. These are the basis of pease porridge and pea soup, staples of medieval cuisine; in Europe, consuming fresh immature green peas was an innovation of Early Modern cuisine.
The seeds of a chickpea are high in protein. It is one of the earliest cultivated legumes. Chickpeas are grown in the Mediterranean, western Asia, the Indian subcontinent and in Australia. India is the world leader in chickpea production, and produces some fifteen times as much as the second-largest producer, Australia. Other key producers are Pakistan, Turkey, Burma, Ethiopia and Iran.