It is a versatile grain that can be grown in various climates across geographies. Originally, barley’s production goes back to ancient Egypt and the Mesopotamian era. But for the year 2017-18, the European Union (EU) was recorded as the number one producer of the grain worldwide. The global production of barley was 142.37 million metric tons that year.
Barley is also popularly used as an ingredient to ferment alcohol, such as whiskey and beer. It can be incorporated into various meals and is available in various forms like flakes, flour, grits. Pearled and hulled forms are available too, according to The Whole Grain Council.
The type of barley that is most healthy is the hulled variety. It’s found beneath the outer hull, after removing the inedible part of the grain. This leaves the bran and germ components behind and it is therefore still considered a whole grain.
On the contrary, pearled barley is dehulled, processed and lacking nutrients as the bran is removed. The pearled barley is found in flakes, grits and flour.