Hulled, hull-less and pearled barley - What is the difference?

1 Comment

What is difference between pearled, hulled and hulless barley? Be Still Farms ~ Real, Fine OrganicsThere is a fair amount of confusion among our customers about the best kind of organic barley to use, not surprising as the differences can be subtle.  Over time, we have seen three main kinds of organic barley become available: Classic "Hulled Barley", Pearled Barley and the lesser-known "Hull-less Barley".What we would call classic Hulled Barley is a variety of barley with an outer husk that is tightly attached. To make the grain edible, this tight outer husk, or ‘hull’, is removed using a kind of simple rolling/tumbling action. This processing is similar but shorter to what is done to create Pearled Barley. The resulting grains do bear a slight resemblance to each other visually and can cause confusion for people choosing a product. For example, classic Hulled Barley will show some of the bare spots common to Pearled Barley from all the rolling/tumbling. But importantly, the shorter processing means Hulled Barley retains a higher nutrition level.

As you may have guessed, Pearled Barley gets its name from the pale shine created from longer tumbling times when processing.  These longer times mean that not only is the outer hull removed but also most of the bran layer (which is the fiber).  This extra processing creates a grain that is less chewy and cooks more quickly.  Pearled Barley is also sometimes called ‘Pot or Scotch’ barley. Pearled Barley is the most processed, least beneficial of the 3 options from a nutrition perspective. That said, organic Pearled Barley is still a healthy ingredient if you prefer your barley this way as it still retains its protein, vitamin and mineral content.

Whereas Hulled Barley and Pearled Barley are the same species and get their names from the way they are processed, Hull-less Barley, often called Hulless Barley, is actually a completely different variety of barley. This species has an outer hull that is much less tightly attached, and therefore drops off on its own as it is harvested in the field. Being a different variety, and not requiring any rolling/tumbling, it looks different to the naked eye. There are some cooking and taste differences as well. We will go into this aspect a bit more in part 2 of this series.

 

Recipes:

 


Thanks for reading this Be Still Farms Blog article. To sign up for more news/articles and/or recipes, click here. For more about us, click here. To shop our certified organic products, click here.

Please comment and share and we look forward to serving you in the future!




1 Response

Cindy Miller
Cindy Miller

April 28, 2020

Where do I find part two of this article on pearl, hulled and hulless barley?

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in Healthy & Organic Living Blog

Hulled, Hull-less and Pearled Barley - Cooking & Taste Differences
Hulled, Hull-less and Pearled Barley - Cooking & Taste Differences

More & more people are recognizing the health benefits of barley.  In its unrefined form (Hulled or Hull-less, also called ‘eBarley’) it has the highest fiber of any grain. Pearled barley is considered a refined grain but still retains a relatively high level of fiber. Any type of barley can be substituted in place of rice in dishes to increase the nutrition and fiber content, or even in place of oatmeal in the morning.

Continue Reading

Why Sourdough? Part 2- Nutrition
Why Sourdough? Part 2- Nutrition

Many people enjoy sourdough for it's delicious and unique taste, but did you know that it also has nutritional differences that set it apart from regular bread?

Continue Reading

Why Sourdough? Part 1 - History

The process of leavening bread through fermentation is as old as bread baking itself. For thousands of years humans have been harnessing the power of naturally occurring lactobacilli and yeast to create sourdough bread.......

Continue Reading