73. BARLEY is a grain, or cereal, that grows very much like wheat. However, it is hardier than wheat or any other cereals and may be grown through a greater range of climates. Barley has been cultivated from the most ancient times; in fact, its cultivation can be traced as far back as man's occupations have been recorded. The grain of this cereal has also played an important part in the advancement of man, for, according to history, some of the present weights and measures originated from it. Thus, the Troy weight grain is said to have been first fixed by finding the average weight of a barley grain, and the inch of linear measure, by placing three grains of barley end to end.
74. Although several varieties of barley have been cultivated as food from the earliest times, the grain is now used principally in the manufacture of malt. In this form, it is used for the malting of foods and in the making of alcoholic liquors. To produce malt, the barley grains are moistened and allowed to sprout, and during this process of sprouting the starch of the barley is changed to sugar. The grains are then dried, and the sprouts, which are called malt sprouts, are broken off and sold as cattle food. The grain that remains, which is really malt, is then crushed and combined with other grains for use as malted cereal food. When barley is used to make malt, or fermented, liquors, it is soaked in water, which absorbs the sugar in it; then yeast is added, and this produces alcohol by causing the fermentation of the sugar.
75. In the United States, pearl barley is the name applied to the most common form of barley used as food. In this form, the layer of bran is removed from the outside of the barley grain, but no change is made in the grain itself. Pearl barley is used for soups and as a breakfast cereal, but for whatever purpose it is employed it requires very long cooking to make it palatable. Very often the water in which a small amount of pearl barley has been cooked for a long time is used to dilute the milk given to a child who has indigestion or who is not able to take whole milk.
RECIPES FOR BARLEY
76. PEARL BARLEY.--As a breakfast cereal, possibly the only satisfactory way in which to prepare pearl barley is to cook it in a double boiler, although after it is cooked in this way it may, of course, be used to prepare other breakfast dishes. Barley is not liked by everybody; nevertheless, it is an excellent food and its nature is such that even after long cooking it remains so firm as to require thorough mastication, which is the first great step in the digestion of starchy foods.PEARL BARLEY
(Sufficient to Serve Six)
- 1 c. pearl barley
- 1 tsp. salt
- 4-1/2 c. boiling water
Look the barley over carefully and remove any foreign particles it may contain. Add it to the boiling salted water, and cook it directly over the flame for 10 minutes. Then place it in a double boiler and cook for 3 to 4 hours. For the barley to be cooked properly, the water should be completely absorbed. Serve hot with cream or milk and sugar.
77. PEARL BARLEY WITH FRUIT.--Cooked barley does not contain very much flavor. Therefore, if a more tasty dish is desired, it is usually necessary to add something, such as fruit, that will improve the flavor. Various fruits may be used with barley, as is shown in the accompanying recipe.PEARL BARLEY WITH FRUIT
(Sufficient to Serve Eight)
- 1 c. pearl barley
- 1 tsp. salt
- 5 c. boiling water
- 1 c. dates, figs, or prunes
Examine the barley to see that it contains no foreign matter, and then put it to cook in the boiling water to which the salt has been added. After cooking directly over the flame for 10 minutes, place it in a double boiler and cook it for 3 to 4 hours. If dates are to be used, wash them in warm water, remove the seeds, and cut each into four pieces. In the case of figs, soak them in hot water for 1/2 hour and then cut them into small pieces. If prunes are desired, stew them as explained in Art. 71, and when the seeds are removed cut them into small pieces. Add the fruit to the barley 10 or 15 minutes before removing it from the stove. Serve hot with cream or milk and sugar.
78. LEFT-OVER BARLEY.--Cooked barley that is left over from a meal should not be wasted. That which has been cooked without fruit may be added to meat stock or used with vegetables for soup. Also, cooked barley that has had time to set and become stiff may be sautéd in butter until it is slightly brown. When served with meat gravy, barley prepared in this manner makes a very appetizing and satisfying luncheon dish.