Barley is a grass with an edible grain. It probably originated, and was first cultivated in the highlands of Ethiopia and Southeast Asia. Barley is mentioned in the Bible and other ancient records, it goes back to 5000 BC in Egypt, 3500 BC in Mesopotamia, 3000 BC in. Europe and 2000 BC in China. It was the most important bread plant of the Hebrews, Greeks and Romans.
The best thing about barley is that there are varieties adaptable to practically every climate: from the Andes and the Himalayas, down to the scorching near deserts of Africa, and of course, all those places in between.. Not only that, compared to other cereals, it has a very short growing season.
Barley has a nutty flavor, it is high in carbohydrates, and generous in protein and B vitamins. It makes delicious flat breads. Pearl barley, which has had the bran layer removed, is used in soups, porridge and vegetable stews.
As everyone knows, barley is used to make beer, but try making barley water if you are feeling run down: boil in a large pot of water a few handfuls of previously toasted whole barley kernels, add a cooking apple, cinnamon and maybe some pineapple peel. Let the whole thing simmer for a few minutes, strain and sweeten to taste.