κέγχρος, Defined

κέγχρος, ό – millet (panicum miliaceum), anything of small grains like fish roe

The earliest reference to drinks made with barley is found in Hecataeus (ca. 550-476 BCE). He describes a drink (παραβίην) among the Paeonians (a region to the north of Greece). Nelson notes in his review of ancient Greek and Roman beer that millet is largely found among  Africa or the regions to the north of Greece (Paeonia, Pannonia, and Scythia) (Nelson 2001, 97).

Millet is  best grown in semi-dry climates. Proso millet (κέγχρος) is typically used as bird seed in the US, but it still is harvested for food in certain parts of Asia. It seems that this variety of millet is no longer grown in Africa (261-263).

Bibliography
Nelson, M. 2001. “Beer in Greco-Roman Antiquity.” Ph.D. dissertation, The University of British Columbia.
Board on Science and Technology for International Development, 1996. Lost Crops of Africa. Volume 1. National Academy Press.

Image Source
Wikimedia Commons, Isidre Blanc

Advertisements

2 Comments Add yours

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s