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Home Glossary Staple Foods Rye - Bread

Rye - Bread

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Rye (Secale cereale) is a grass grown extensively as a grain and forage crop. It is a member of the wheat tribe (Triticeae) and is closely related to barley and wheat. Rye grain is used for flour, rye bread, rye beer, some whiskies, some vodkas, and animal fodder. It can also be eaten whole, either as boiled rye berries, or by being rolled, similar to rolled oats.

Rye is a cereal and should not be confused with ryegrass which is used for lawns, pasture, and hay for livestock

Rye is grown primarily in Eastern, Central and Northern Europe. The main rye belt stretches from northern Germany through Poland, Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania and Latvia into central and northern Russia. Rye is also grown in North America (Canada and the USA), in South America (Argentina), in Turkey, in Kazakstan and in northern China.

Production levels of rye are falling in most of the producing nations due to falling demand. For instance, production of rye in Russia fell from 13.9 million tons in 1992 to just 3.4 Mt in 2005. Corresponding figures for other countries are as follows: Poland - 5.9 Mt in 1992 and 3.4 Mt in 2005; Germany - 3.3 Mt & 2.8 Mt; Belarus - 3.1 Mt & 1.2 Mt; China - 1.7 Mt & 0.6 Mt; Kazakhstan - 0.6 Mt & 0.02 Mt.

Most of rye is consumed locally, and is exported only to neighbouring countries, but not worldwide.

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