Pearl barley

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For Chinese pearl barley, see Job's Tears.
Uncooked pearl barley with U.S. one cent coin for size comparison

Pearl barley, or pearled barley, is barley that has been processed to remove its hull and bran. All barley must have its fibrous outer hull removed before it can be eaten; pearl barley is then polished to remove the bran layer.

It is the most common form of barley for human consumption because it cooks faster and is less chewy than other, less-processed forms of the grain[1] such as "hulled barley" (or "barley groats", also known as "pot barley" and "Scotch barley".[1]

Pearl barley is similar to wheat in its caloric, protein, vitamin and mineral content, though some varieties are higher in lysine.[2] It is used mainly in soups, stews, and potages. It is the primary ingredient of the Italian dish orzotto.


  1. ^ a b Barley from The Cook's Thesaurus (
  2. ^ Barley basics, from the Montana State Government website of the Montana Wheat and Barley Committee