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Beremeal is flour made from Bere, an old variety of six-row barley described as having an earthy, slightly astringent, nutty flavour. Traditionally used to make a bannock, a specialty of Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles. Beremeal was widely used throughout Scotland where barley bannocks were eaten as the main bread. Hand mills or querns produced Beremeal for household purposes while watermills produced meal on a larger scale.
Beremeal is only produced at Barony Mills on Orkney where Rae Phillips, who had milling in his blood, worked tirelessly to preserve the skills. His forefathers were millers there and Rae returned to be Miller for the Birsay Heritage Trust that has operated the Mill since 1998. Sadly Rae passed away in 2018 and will be sorely missed. Built in 1837 Barony Mills has remained relatively unchanged and still uses the original machinery and techniques to make high quality Beremeal. Available from Green City Coop.
Beremeal bannocks are absolutely delicious and on the menus at Lynnfield Hotel http://lynnfield.co.uk & Sheila Fleet Kirk Gallery & Cafe https://sheilafleet.com/shops/the-kirk-gallery-cafe-orkney
photo: Wendy Barrie
Close up: Beremeal harvested at Burland Croft, Trondra, Shetland
Fields by Barony Mills, Orkney