As we take note that January is National Oatmeal Month we soon learn that oats are the younger of the two major grains, wheat and barley. The history of oats is somewhat cloudy because there are so many different species and subspecies.
Some authorities believe that our present cultivated oats developed as a mutation from wild oats and think it took place in Asia Minor or southern Europe not long before the birth of Christ. The oldest known oat grains were found in Egypt among remains of the 12th Dynasty but were probably weeds, not actually cultivated. The oldest known cultivated oats were found in caves in Switzerland that are believed to belong to the Bronze Age.
Moving up in time by thousands of years, the Scots were the very first people to appreciate oats and their edible uses while at the same period of time, England used the grain as animal food. (Today 95 percent of commercially grown oats are produced not for human consumption but for animal fodder.) It’s thanks...
To view the rest of this article, you must log in. If you do not have an account with us, please subscribe here.