The word cereal is derived from ceres, the Roman Goddess of grain. The common cereal crops are rice, wheat, corn, oats and rye. The term cereal is not limited to these but also flours, meals, breads and alimentary pastes or pasta. Cereal science is a study concerned with all technical aspects of cereal. It is the study the nature of the cereals and the changes that occurs naturally and as a result of handling and processing.

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

General history of barley

Barley cultivation probably originated in the highlands of Ethiopia and in Southeast Asia in prehistoric times. It is believed to extend back to 5000 BC in Egypt, 3500 BC in Mesopotamia, 3000 BC in north-western Europe, and 2000 BC in China. Barley was grown on the Korean Peninsula by 1500-850 BC along with millet, wheat, and legumes. Six-rowed barley did not come about until after 6000 BC.

Barley played an important role in ancient Greek and Roman cultures as a staple bread-making grain as well as an important food for athletes. Gladiators were known as Hordearii, meaning ‘eaters of barley’. The use of barley grains in social and religious ceremonies by Hindus, Greeks and Romans illustrates its antiquity.

The first barley foods probably were simple. The kernels were eaten raw until the discovery that removal of the hulls of hulled types followed by soaking and/or cooking in some manner enhanced the texture and flavor.

In ancient Egypt (3200 BC to 30 BC) barley bread and beer (made from malt) constituted a complete diet. A clay tablet from ancient Sumer in Lower Mesopotamia dating from around 2700 BC provides a prescription for a poultice that includes dried powdered herbs and fruit blended with barley ale and oil.

Barley was the chief bread plant of the Hebrews, Greeks, and Romans and of much of Europe through the 16th century.

In New World, barley, together with other English grains, was grown in 1602 by Gosnold on Martha's Vineyard and the Elizabeth Islands off the south coast of Massachusetts, and by the colonists of the London Company in Virginia in 1611.

Barley was first grown in Mexico and was introduced there by the Spanish conquerors.

Today, barley is the fourth largest grain crop after wheat, rice and corn. It is still grown in many different countries throughout the world.
General history of barley

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