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Where can I buy hulled barley?

CookingGirl Aug 20, 2008 11:54 AM

I'm looking to buy hulled barley in the Boston-out to Metro West area. I know Bob's Red Mill makes it, but I haven't seen any stores that carry it. Whole Foods (at least the one in Framingham) doesn't have it, either in bulk or packaged. I know you can buy it online, but the shipping can be outrageous. Thanks!

  1. hiddenboston Aug 20, 2008 11:58 AM

    Hmm, at least one of the Whole Foods markets I've been to has it. I've gotten it in Fresh Pond many times. Maybe they were just temporarily out of it?

    1. StriperGuy Aug 20, 2008 12:37 PM

      Most supermarkets carry it in the area where they have dried beans as it is often used in soups. If that fails the Sevan and Arax in Watertown both have it as does Harvest Food Coop in Central Square and Polcari's coffee in the North End.

      1. m
        mwk Aug 20, 2008 01:31 PM


        I buy the Bob's Red Mill Hull-less Barley at Ocean State Job Lot. They have a large selection of the Bob's products.

        Or, you can get Bob's products through Amazon.com, and if you buy over $25, the shipping is free.

        1. s
          smtucker Aug 20, 2008 01:31 PM

          Sophia's Greek Pantry in Belmont has more different kinds of barley than I knew existed. You might consider calling to see if they have it.

          1 Reply
          1. re: smtucker
            StriperGuy Aug 20, 2008 01:39 PM

            Cool. I gotta check that place out again.

          2. Maxinella Aug 20, 2008 03:04 PM

            Most supermarkets have it in the same aisle with dried beans. You might want to also try the Butcherie in Brookline, I know they sell it.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Maxinella
              Karl S Jan 23, 2014 05:19 AM

              Actually, most supermarkets only carried pearled barley, not hulled barley. Hulled barley is more difficult to find.

              Call around to specific Whole Foods locations to see if they carry it.

              I find it in the newer, larger Market Baskets, too, but its availability can vary.

            2. kparke30 Aug 21, 2008 06:56 AM

              Ocean State Job Lot on Rt 1 in Norwood carries a full line of Bob's Red Mill products, most likely they will have it!

              6 Replies
              1. re: kparke30
                CookingGirl Aug 21, 2008 08:49 AM

                Thanks. When you say "most supermarkets" can you give me an example? I checked 5 supermarkets in Metro West (Natick/Fram) and no one has it, with the dried beans or anywhere else. Polcari's only has it intermittently, they didn't have it the last 3 times I was there. The Job Lot suggestion is great...I'll have to find the closest one to me. Thanks!

                1. re: CookingGirl
                  StriperGuy Aug 21, 2008 09:23 AM

                  My experience is that every supermarket has this. Usually in a long cylindrical sleevelike plastic bag either where they keep the dried beans, or in the ethnic foods section or the jewish foods section. That said, maybe in the food wasteland that is Metro West they don't carry it.

                  1. re: StriperGuy
                    mwk Aug 21, 2008 11:31 AM

                    All supermarkets have PEARLED Barley, which is not the same thing. CookingGirl is looking for the whole, hulled Barley, which is much harder to find.

                    1. re: mwk
                      StriperGuy Aug 21, 2008 12:34 PM

                      Ahhhh, I see said the blind man.

                      1. re: mwk
                        CookingGirl Aug 21, 2008 01:04 PM

                        Hey, thanks, mwk. I was starting to wonder if it was just me...

                        1. re: CookingGirl
                          StriperGuy Aug 21, 2008 01:11 PM

                          I am sure that either Arax or Sevan in Watertown have HULLED barley as well as the Harvest food coop in Central Square. Also, I bet the aforementioned Greek place has it too.

                2. w
                  wiz2001 Jan 22, 2014 12:03 PM

                  On 1/22/14 I went to Ocean State JOblot in West Roxbury. They carry a large display of Bob's Red Mill products. According to their store list, however, they do not carry hulled barley. They do have both hulless and pearled barley each of which is different from hulless barley, of course. Please see
                  if you want an explanation of each.
                  A 26 oz. bag cost $2.29


                  3 Replies
                  1. re: wiz2001
                    Aromatherapy Jan 22, 2014 02:57 PM

                    As long as the thread's bumped--I get it regularly at the Fresh Pond Whole Foods. Not sure they all carry it.

                    1. re: wiz2001
                      paulj Jan 24, 2014 06:43 PM

                      While that page makes a distinction between hulled and hullless, I suspect at the retail level (e.g. Whole Foods bulk bin) the distinction is lost. 'hullless' is easier to dehull than regular barley, and thus is more likely to sold to consumers.

                      On the Bobsredmill site, I only see hull-less (the easy to hull variety), and that is 'out-of-stock'.

                      Unless there is specific reason to need hulled, I'd buy which ever my store sells. If neither is available, consider oat groats. They cook up a bit stickier, but in many cases should work just as well.

                      I have also seen 'sprouting barley' in bulk bins, but I'm not sure what is different about that.

                      1. re: paulj
                        Aromatherapy Jan 25, 2014 07:13 AM

                        I buy "hulled" specifically for its greater chewiness. I use it in hearty vegetable soups. Texture thing. I wouldn't go to great lengths to get it, but it is different.

                    2. w
                      winmeover Jan 23, 2014 07:03 AM

                      I buy mine from Whole Foods on Washington St in Newton. It's in the bulk bin section.

                      1. t
                        Tatania Jan 24, 2014 06:31 PM

                        I've been looking for hulled barley, too, in the same area. Had WF call around, and they could only find it at Fresh Pond.

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