Table of content A-Z

 

Barley

 

Botanical name: Hordeum vulgare


Gerste

 

Origin, areas of cultivation

The barley that is grown today stems from wild barley and is, along with wheat, one of the oldest grains cultivated by man. It originated in the Near East and Central Asia, from where it reached Europe via Egypt.

It is cultivated throughout the world, with the major part of the harvest being used for animal fodder.

 

Availability

Both winter and summer barley grow very quickly, and products made with barley are available the year round.

 

Appearance, taste, characteristics

Barley is easily distinguished from other varieties of grain on the field. It forms typical long awns. The kernels are also characteristic and, in comparison to those of other grains, relatively large. They are convex, and both ends taper to a point. The colour varies from light yellow to dark brown to black.

Barley makes few demands on climate and soil. It grows in the tropics, in Iceland, and in the Himalayas - three regions that could not be more unalike.

 

Ingredients

Barley can contribute greatly to our supply of phosphorus, vitamin B1 and vitamin B6. With its high content of silicic acid it supports the formation of skin, hair and connective tissue.

100 g contain:

 

 

 

Barley, whole kernel

Pearl barley

Barley groats, porridge

Energy (kcal)

320

339

314

Water (g)

12

12

13

Protein (g)

9.8

9.7

7.9

Fat (g)

2.1

1.4

1.5

Carbohydrates (g)

64

71

66

Fibre (g)

9.8

4.6

10

Vitamin B1 (mg)

<1

<1

<1

Vitamin B6 (mg)

<1

<1

<1

Folic acid (µg)

65

20

19

Niacin (NE) (mg)

7.1

5.4

4.9

Magnesium (mg)

114

65

66

Manganese (mg)

1.6

1.3

1.3

Iron (mg)

2.8

2

2

Zinc (mg)

2.5

2.1

1.3

Phosphorus (mg)

342

189

189

Copper (mg)

<1

<1

<1

 

Presumed effect on health

In folk medicine, barley gruel is held to have a healing effect on stomach and intestinal inflammation. It is supposed to be even more effective than oat gruel.

 

Form of consumption, use, processing, practical tips for preparation

Like most other varieties of grain, barley is suited for the production of hulled and peeled kernels (pearl barley), groats, flours and flakes.

For baking barley is less suitable. It is conventionally used to make gruel and porridge. Pearl barley was frequently eaten earlier as a garnish in soups. However, barley is probably best known as an ingredient in the brewing of beer: The kernels are soaked, allowed to germinate and dried to obtain malt. But barley malt is used not only in the brewery; Scottish malt whiskey is also distilled from it.

In addition, coffee made from an infusion of barley malt is a good alternative to coffee made from coffee beans.



For baking barley is less suitable. It is conventionally used to make gruel and porridge. Pearl barley was frequently eaten earlier as a garnish in soups. However, barley is probably best known as an ingredient in the brewing of beer: The kernels are soaked, allowed to germinate and dried to obtain malt. But barley malt is used not only in the brewery; Scottish malt whiskey is also distilled from it.

In addition, coffee made from an infusion of barley malt is a good alternative to coffee made from coffee beans.

 

 

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