Mexico Connect
Forums  > Specific Focus > Mexican Kitchen


rayitodeluna

Jun 18, 2013, 11:01 AM

Post #1 of 11 (48387 views)

Shortcut

Is all barley edible by humans?

Can't Post | Private Reply
Is there a strain or variety of barley that is grown only for animal consumption (specifially here in mexico) ?

I love barley, as we have discussed here on another thread (about where to find grains in mexico city).

A couple months ago, we were invited to go visit the hometown of two of the workers (father and son) who constructed our house. We gladly took the invitation and enjoyed our overnight visit with them. They are located somewhere in Puebla, higher in the mountains than Chignahuapan (I only say this becasue we had to drive downhill for 30 minutes to visit Chignahuapan) . Thinking of it, they never said the name of their small town.

My point in all this - the only crops they grown on their small plot of land are maiz and cebada. They were lamenting that they never have enough uses for all the maiz and that the cebada "only works" for the animals (chickens, rooosters, a pig). I asked them what kind of cebada they grew, which they merely said "cebada" and offered to show me some. When I told them cebada is a grain (explained that by comparing it to rice and oatmeal) and definately edible by humans they didnt seem to believe me.

I am not sure if anyone else watches the noticias at 10 pm, but about a month ago televisa had a special on hunger in mexico. I immediately thought of this family. Risking sounding like a jerk, quite simply they dont eat well. Or enough. Their family that lives there consists of about 18 people, 9 or so chilldren (some cousins, not all siblings) . When they killed 2 (of their 8) chickens the day we were there and the kids were talking very excitedly about the meal they were preparing, I suspected they dont normally eat that well. And even with that great sacrifice, all the children only drank consume and ate tortillas.

Without judgement, more of an observation... Their family would definately benefit nutritionally if they could cook and utilize all the cebada they grow (which they told me goes bad sitting in storage waiting for the animals to eat it?) .

If anyone has more of a knowledge on the actual planting and harvesting of barley and the process they need to go through at home to get it to the stage where they can cook and eat it , could they please comment? I will also be asking my brother who works on a research farm at his university, but they are currently studying and harvesting soybeans so Im not sure he is an expert of harvesting barley. And thought here would be a better place to ask if anyone is familiar with the kinds of barley possibly grown in Puebla, Mexico.

I did ask why they didnt grow greens or other veggies, and they told me they "burn" with the freezing cold nights and hot days. Again, if I had the name of their town, perhaps I could look up average day and night temps.

Thanks for any thoughts, we are thinking of visiting them sometime ths summer and I would like to have a bit more knowledge if (when) the subject comes up. They did seem interested in the idea of eating the barley and stated they would be up to trying new crops/veggies if they could find some that wouldnt "burn" . So I dont think they would be offended by my interest in helping them learn how to use the cebada they have.

~~~~~~ Enjoying life in northern D.F. with our family of Americans and chilangos.
Family and expat blog here : http://threecurlygirlys.blogspot.mx/ ~~~~~~

(This post was edited by rayitodeluna on Jun 18, 2013, 11:06 AM)



esperanza

Jun 18, 2013, 12:15 PM

Post #2 of 11 (48370 views)

Shortcut

Re: [rayitodeluna] Is all barley edible by humans?

Can't Post | Private Reply
When you say consume (what the children ate along with tortillas), do you mean consomé? And if it was in fact consomé, how was it made? Generally consomé is the name for the pot liquid from birria or mixiote or barbacoa OR a thin broth usually made with knorrsuiza. Maybe it was broth the chicken was cooked in? Or--well, you tell me, please.

Re the cebada: most barley in Mexico is made for the beer-production industry; 70% or more of the annual national barley crop is used to make beer! That alone should tell you that it is indeed suitable for human consumption. Here is more information than you want about barley production in Mexico: http://www.cofupro.org.mx/...Archivos/penit16.pdf

Very, very little cebada is used for human food. It's a cultural thing: barley isn't really on the map as a grain used in Mexican kitchens. Some tiny amount is used for agua fresca de cebada, but that would be just a wee dent in the whole production.

A recipe for agua fresca de cebada: http://www.tortilladigital.com/...eceta-agua-de-cebada

A recipe for cebada con espinacas: http://cocinayrecetas.hola.com/...ebada-con-espinacas/

A recipe for cebada con cilantro: http://cocinayrecetas.hola.com/.../cebada-al-cilantro/

And that's about it. I've lived and cooked in Mexico longer than you have been alive, and I have never seen or heard of cebada being served as a sopa and I don't recall ever seeing it sold as a grain like rice. But these two sopa recipes sound great, maybe your friends can use them.

This document might also be of some help to you in helping your friends know when and what to plant.
http://www.extension.iastate.edu/publications/pm534s.pdf

Lastly, it could be quite helpful to contact someone at SAGARPA in Puebla for some further input. I am no expert.
http://www.sagarpa.gob.mx/...Paginas/default.aspx

Suerte!

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









rayitodeluna

Jun 18, 2013, 5:43 PM

Post #3 of 11 (48347 views)

Shortcut

Re: [esperanza] Is all barley edible by humans?

Can't Post | Private Reply
Ha, what a funny typo! Yes, I meant they were eating the liquid the chicken was cooked in ( consome) . I have had it served as an entrada in restaurants and made it at home (except I like to make mine by using a mirepoix and the addition of garlic).

I beieve you that it isnt very common here in Mexico, my inlaws hadnt ever had it the first time I made something with it. However, I know other people must be trying it, I have two of those receta magazines (written in spanish and sold everywhere from the grocery store to the magazine stands at every mercado ) that have more than one platillo that features barley. A few are cold salads, one was a warm dish with barley as a subsitute or rice. It very well be an emerging trend, and I havent seen barley in very many places. Bt since they already have the barley, moght as well eat it! Righht?

How long have you been in mexico, if you dont mind me asking? (Thats not rude right, like asking someone their age? Wink) I know my 1.5 years here is practically nothing compared to others around here ;)

Thank you for the links, the first I have used for making my own garden plans but the second I hadnt even thought to look up. Contacting them sounds like a good idea, perhaps they can help me in helping our friends.

Off to do more research! Thanks for the nudge in the right direction.

~~~~~~ Enjoying life in northern D.F. with our family of Americans and chilangos.
Family and expat blog here : http://threecurlygirlys.blogspot.mx/ ~~~~~~


esperanza

Jun 18, 2013, 6:06 PM

Post #4 of 11 (48342 views)

Shortcut

Re: [rayitodeluna] Is all barley edible by humans?

Can't Post | Private Reply
Let me see...I started my Mexican life in 1981, living in Tijuana and working as a social worker in the city jail there.

So 32 years, no? Long time.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









rayitodeluna

Jun 20, 2013, 2:26 PM

Post #5 of 11 (48303 views)

Shortcut

Re: [esperanza] Is all barley edible by humans?

Can't Post | Private Reply

In Reply To
Let me see...I started my Mexican life in 1981, living in Tijuana and working as a social worker in the city jail there.

So 32 years, no? Long time.


32 years! That is a long time, but I do know how time flies. And without dating myself... Yes. That is longer than I have been living ;) If you dont mind the interview, where else have you lived here in Mexico besides Tijuana and DF?

~~~~~~ Enjoying life in northern D.F. with our family of Americans and chilangos.
Family and expat blog here : http://threecurlygirlys.blogspot.mx/ ~~~~~~


esperanza

Jun 20, 2013, 3:23 PM

Post #6 of 11 (48296 views)

Shortcut

Re: [rayitodeluna] Is all barley edible by humans?

Can't Post | Private Reply
1981 - Present: Tijuana, Mexico City, Ajijic, Guadalajara, Morelia, Mexico City. I have traveled and eaten in 28 of Mexico's 31 states--plus the Distrito Federal.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









GringoCArlos

Jun 22, 2013, 5:29 PM

Post #7 of 11 (48248 views)

Shortcut

Re: [rayitodeluna] Is all barley edible by humans?

Can't Post | Private Reply
Barley is very edible. All barley is the same but when eaten by humans has been pearled, which means that the outer husk and bran have been removed along with most of the nutrients. Pearling is done with equipment that costs some $$.

Health food stores in Mexico sell pearled barley for 50-60 pesos/kg to a few nuts like me. The beer producers use about 70% of the barley grown in Mexico. It's grown on contract by many farmers here in the Bajio as a good income supplement.

If their harvested barley is spoiling before it gets around to being fed to animals, it's not been dried enough. Barley is like most other grains, and needs to be dried down to about 12% moisture or else it will get moldy in storage.

They can spread the newly harvested barley on clean screened frames set up on blocks out in the sunshine and to let the air circulate to dry further, taking care that it doesn't get rained on. A few days in the sun and it will keep for a couple of years without spoilage if they store it where it won't get wet or damp again. They have enough hands to help do this.

Whole barley should only be fed to animals, but it can be threshed the old fashioned way to remove the outer hull so it can be eaten by humans. Here is some info on basic threshing that would work in their situation, and again, they have the manpower to do it:

http://www.islandgrains.com/how-do-i-thresh-grain-on-a-small-scale/

The bigger factor in play may be the fuel question. If they cook over wood, the extra cooking time means more fuel over an ordinary fire typically used in rural Mexico. They may cook with three rocks, a fire that they keep shoving wood into, and a sheet of steel on top that they place the pots and food on.

Here is one potential solution for a fire that gets a lot more of the energy out of the same wood, and was designed to be made in a rural setting for no cost. It is like a modified rocket stove. Watch the video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-7orowqP0U

Barley takes longer than rice to cook. Pearled barley usually takes about 45 minutes simmering and hulled barley maybe an hour as opposed to me getting rice done in 30 minutes.. It can be added to a pot that is cooking beans, or as a healthy addition to any soup that is boiled. It is gummier than rice.


(This post was edited by GringoCArlos on Jun 22, 2013, 5:36 PM)


rayitodeluna

Jun 24, 2013, 8:10 AM

Post #8 of 11 (48196 views)

Shortcut

Re: [GringoCArlos] Is all barley edible by humans?

Can't Post | Private Reply

In Reply To
Barley is very edible. All barley is the same but when eaten by humans has been pearled, which means that the outer husk and bran have been removed along with most of the nutrients. Pearling is done with equipment that costs some $$.

Health food stores in Mexico sell pearled barley for 50-60 pesos/kg to a few nuts like me. The beer producers use about 70% of the barley grown in Mexico. It's grown on contract by many farmers here in the Bajio as a good income supplement.

If their harvested barley is spoiling before it gets around to being fed to animals, it's not been dried enough. Barley is like most other grains, and needs to be dried down to about 12% moisture or else it will get moldy in storage.

They can spread the newly harvested barley on clean screened frames set up on blocks out in the sunshine and to let the air circulate to dry further, taking care that it doesn't get rained on. A few days in the sun and it will keep for a couple of years without spoilage if they store it where it won't get wet or damp again. They have enough hands to help do this.

Whole barley should only be fed to animals, but it can be threshed the old fashioned way to remove the outer hull so it can be eaten by humans. Here is some info on basic threshing that would work in their situation, and again, they have the manpower to do it:

http://www.islandgrains.com/how-do-i-thresh-grain-on-a-small-scale/

The bigger factor in play may be the fuel question. If they cook over wood, the extra cooking time means more fuel over an ordinary fire typically used in rural Mexico. They may cook with three rocks, a fire that they keep shoving wood into, and a sheet of steel on top that they place the pots and food on.

Here is one potential solution for a fire that gets a lot more of the energy out of the same wood, and was designed to be made in a rural setting for no cost. It is like a modified rocket stove. Watch the video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-7orowqP0U

Barley takes longer than rice to cook. Pearled barley usually takes about 45 minutes simmering and hulled barley maybe an hour as opposed to me getting rice done in 30 minutes.. It can be added to a pot that is cooking beans, or as a healthy addition to any soup that is boiled. It is gummier than rice.


Thank you for all the information. Very VERY helpful. I was wondering how they would make it into pearled barley without any equipment. Will watch those videos and links ASAP.

They have a gas stove but dont use it. They cook like you mentioned, a wood firepit with a large comal on top of the circular pit, shoving wood in as needed.

I soak my barley overnight to reduce cooking time, perhaps I can suggest that to them.

Thank you for the suggestions , they will be very handy. And I suspect they arent drying it out enough if it is going bad within a season. This will really help them.

~~~~~~ Enjoying life in northern D.F. with our family of Americans and chilangos.
Family and expat blog here : http://threecurlygirlys.blogspot.mx/ ~~~~~~


GringoCArlos

Jun 24, 2013, 8:51 AM

Post #9 of 11 (48190 views)

Shortcut

Re: [rayitodeluna] Is all barley edible by humans?

Can't Post | Private Reply
If they do thresh their barley, it would then become "hulled" barley, not "pearled". Pearled barley is taken one step further to further remove the bran and any remaining husk, and the equipment to do so would be expensive for them..

The stove that was in the video would use a lot less wood to do the same thing, especially things like beans that need more cooking time..


rayitodeluna

Jun 24, 2013, 9:24 AM

Post #10 of 11 (48181 views)

Shortcut

Re: [GringoCArlos] Is all barley edible by humans?

Can't Post | Private Reply

In Reply To
If they do thresh their barley, it would then become "hulled" barley, not "pearled". Pearled barley is taken one step further to further remove the bran and any remaining husk, and the equipment to do so would be expensive for them..

The stove that was in the video would use a lot less wood to do the same thing, especially things like beans that need more cooking time..


Thank you. I havent watched the videos yet (slow connection ) but will be watching them before we head out there.

I have always cooked with pearled barley, I have read hulled barley takes longer but not sure how much. Off to google , but I assume soaking the hulled barley would reduce soaking time like with pearled barley?

Funny, I have been wanting to buy some hulled barley for sprouting and then making bread, but was wondering where to buy it hulled! LOL, maybe they would gift me a kilo if they had enough ;) (which I would assume they do, how they talked about it!)

I truly appreciate the suggestions, I have NO clue about the cultivation and hulling process/drying for storage etc.

~~~~~~ Enjoying life in northern D.F. with our family of Americans and chilangos.
Family and expat blog here : http://threecurlygirlys.blogspot.mx/ ~~~~~~


MazDee

Jul 2, 2013, 5:23 PM

Post #11 of 11 (48123 views)

Shortcut

Re: [rayitodeluna] Is all barley edible by humans?

Can't Post | Private Reply
Here in Mazatlán, they sell cebada perla in the mercado. The lady who cleans my house was amazed that I ate it, but now she has tasted the soup, and likes it! I have no idea if others eat it here, but I guess somebody must buy it.
 
 
Search for (advanced search) Powered by Gossamer Forum v.1.2.4