Said to be the oldest cultivated grain, barley is native to Mesopotamia, where it was mainly used to make bread and ferment beer. In Europe, barley has been replaced by wheat and rye but is still the staple grain of many countries in the Far and Middle East, Asia, and South America. In modern cultures, barley serves to make everything from livestock feed to malted whiskey to tea to miso.

However, by itself, barley is a great, low-fat grain, chockfull of nutrients and is reputed to aid the body in breaking down fat.

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