Barley: What You Should Know

Barley is a grain similar to wheat or rice. Barley grains end in long, stiff extensions like hair, the awns. The ripe spikes lie horizontally or tilt downwards.

Barley is a sweet grass like all grains. It was already known in antiquity and comes from the Orient. Humans have been eating barley for about 15,000 years. Barley has been around in Central Europe since the Neolithic period.

In the Middle Ages, barley was widely used as fodder for animals. This is still done today with winter barley. It mainly goes to pigs and cattle.

Humans mainly need spring barley to brew beer with. That’s why beer is also called barley juice. There are also some specialties, such as the Bündner barley soup. In the past, many poor people boiled barley with water to make a porridge called groats.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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