Barley has been around for more than 10,000 years. I first tasted it in my grandmother’s Chicken Barley Soup, but I didn’t know what it was until much later.
I really fell for this grain when I lived in London and frequented Cranks, a popular vegetarian restaurant. It was originally located right on Carnaby Street, well before the street itself became the headquarters of Swinging London. By the time I discovered it, though, Cranks had moved around the corner to Marshall Street. I never noticed any high fashion people there having lunch, but I did see lots of unusual salads. Almost all of them featured such grains as cracked wheat, wheat berries or barley.