Organic Hulless Barley (Naked)
Our organic hulless barley or naked barley is a rich source of B vitamins, including niacin, thiamin, and pyridoxine (vitamin B-6). It also contains beta-glucans, a type of fiber that scientists have linked to various health benefits.
It is important to note that barley will usually expand to three and a half times its volume when cooked.
Why is called naked barley?
- In normal barley the outer parts of the barley flower (pales) are ''glued'' to the grain as it develops. In naked barley the gene that controls the production of the ''glue'' is mutated and so the pales are only loosely wrapped around the grain, so they fall off easily.
- Genetic studies show that the mutation occurred on a single occasion around 8,000 years ago. The area of origin was probably modern Iran, but naked barley quickly spread throughout Europe, Asia and North Africa to become perhaps the most important cereal crop of the Neolithic and Bronze Age. The amazing implication of this is that all naked barley in the world today is descended from a few grains, saved from the grinding stone and sown the next season by an unknown Iranian farmer 8,000 years ago.
What is the difference between hulled, pearled and naked barley?
- Hulled barley undergoes minimal mechanical processing to remove only the inedible outer shell, leaving the bran and germ intact.
- Pearled barley has neither the hull nor the bran making it more soft and neutral tasting but this process strips some of the nutrients.
- Naked barley is simply a barley variety that the husks naturally fall off. They do not need to be mechanically removed. It is a whole grain like hulled barley with the bran and germ. Since it's hull is not present when stored in grain silos it tends to be less shelf stable.
- Nothing beats vacuum sealing for freshness.
- Store below 15°C and < 65% humidity.
- Store in the dark as light degrades flavors.
- Mason jars make great storage containers.
- Can be frozen to prolong shelf life.
Locally grown in Canada, buying our organic naked barley encourages local farmers and reduces pollution from long-distance transportation.