The Latin word cibāta came to our language like barley. Latin word that, in turn, comes from the verb “cibare”, which can be translated as “feed” or “fatten farm food”.
This is how a plant is known that belongs to the family group of grasses and that, due to its characteristics, resembles wheat.
Barley, whose scientific name is Hordeum vulgare, is a cereal: a grass that is grown especially to use its grain as food. In this case, barley is among the five most cultivated cereals.
Barley canes, which can measure half a meter, have flexible spikes, with seeds that end in points. The barley harvest takes place in the summer season.
The cultivation of barley is believed to have started in Ancient Egypt. Other ancient peoples, such as the Romans and Greeks, also cultivated and used barley for food. At present Germany and France are the main producers worldwide. In the American continent, the largest barley producers are Canada, the United States and Argentina.
The most frequent use of barley is in the production of beer, whiskey and gin. Barley is used in processes such as malting, distillation and generation of must. With this cereal you can also make bread (the so-called barley bread), produce a flour known as máchica and obtain drinks such as kvass and barley water.
Another use of barley is found in livestock, where the cereal is used to feed pigs and other animals.
In addition to all the above we can point out that in Madrid there is an emblematic place that responds to the name of the Cebada Market. It is one of the largest and most important markets in the Spanish capital and is located in the Plaza de la Cebada, located in the famous Barrio de La Latina.
In 1868 it was when this building began to be built, by the architect Mariano Calvo y Pereira. It was inaugurated by King Alfonso XII on June 11, 1875 and was later restored in 1958.
It has about 6,000 square meters, has two main floors, as well as another that acts as a warehouse and another as a parking lot. Aesthetically it surprises and draws attention for its various red vaulted roofs as well as for the large mural made by Carlos Rincón where some of the main monuments of Madrid are reflected.
As we have mentioned, this market is located in the Plaza de la Cebada, which owes its name to the fact that in one of its surrounding streets the barley that was destined to feed the king’s horses was separated from the one that was he was going to use it to do the same with the horses of the cavalry regiments. Square in which one of the most relevant theaters in the city is also located: the Teatro de La Latina.