Book of Bere: Orkney’s Ancient Grain
Bere is the native barley of Orkney. In the past it was an important multi-use crop and a staple of the Scottish diet, though its use declined as more easily-processed crops were introduced. Bere is still grown on Orkney farms by an agricultural contractor employed by the Birsay Heritage Trust who run the Barony Mill, Orkney’s last operating water mill. Here the grain is milled into beremeal, a cream-coloured flour with a distinctive, earthy, nutty flavour.
In this book acclaimed food writer Liz Ashworth traces the story of bere from its Neolithic origins to the present day, providing useful culinary tips and recipes on how this ancient grain can be introduced to the modern kitchen for enjoyment. Recipes are included for Breads, Scones, Tea Breads, Cakes, Tray Bakes, Puddings, Pastry Dishes, and Sweet and Savoury Biscuits.