Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

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rye Secale cereale, a cereal which came into cultivation later than wheat, barley, and oats. Rye was for centuries the principal bread-making cereal of N. Europe, and still is in eastern parts of the continent, especially in Russia. This is partly because it grows well in cold regions: well into the Arctic parts of Scandinavia and up to 4,250 m (14,000') in the Himalayas. It is not just a northerly substitute for wheat, since it has its own special qualities and is preferred by some peoples, but the amount grown is slowly declining.