When I asked the whereabouts of barley in Wholefoods, the shop assistant looked baffled and had no idea what I was talking about. In fact, the most well known use of barley is to make malt, a key ingredient in beer and whisky, but it’s also used as a grain for soups and cereals, among other dishes in many parts of the world. It originally came from Africa, the Mediterranean and South East Asia and was a staple part of the ancient Egyptian and Greek diets. Barley was also known as a special food for Gladiators, who were called hordearii, (eaters of barley), so hopefully it will give me gladiator-like strength. I had never cooked it before Saturday and it took about an hour but was very simple. I also used the leftover barley to make a salad the next day with chickpeas, avocado and arugula.
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