Pale brown in colour and resembling wheat berries, barley is believed to be the oldest cultivated cereal. The barley germ is encased inside the starchy grain, which is coated with a thin, tough bran husk. Barley is used all over the world, in breads, breakfast cereals, puddings, porridges, stews and soups such as Scotch broth. Barley water, beer and other alcoholic drinks are made from it and it is also used for sweetening breads and drinks, and in malt extract.
Whole barley often has some or all of its bran husk removed. This variety, which is the cheapest and most nutritious, is known as Scotch barley. The other two varieties are pot barley and pearl barley. Barley has significantly less gluten than wheat.
Use within three months of buying. Barley breads will become stale quicker than wheat breads.
Article by Sejal Sukhadwala
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