Not every person loves barley porridge. Moreover, as the harsh reality shows, many soldiers are not delighted with it. However, the Ministry of Defense of the Soviet Union never reckoned with this “peculiarity” of the perception of the food product, and not at all because it hated its fighters. Simply - you need to eat porridge! So why exactly barley was the "main dish"?
The daily norm of cereals for Soviet soldiers was 300-400 grams. At the same time, what kind of porridge it should be was never specified in the nutritional prescriptions. Barley became the main porridge of the Soviet army for a reason. Barley was selected on the basis of a combination of positive factors. Firstly, pearl barley porridge is very healthy, contains many vitamins and minerals. Secondly, it is quite satisfying, capable of satisfying the hunger of an adult man with a relatively small mass of product. Thirdly, during long-term storage, pearl barley is actually not spoiled by various pests. The cherry on the cake is the price. The cost of pearl barley is very small, which is again important when providing food for a huge number of people on an ongoing basis.
Another feature of barley porridge is that it keeps a person feeling full for a long time. In this respect, it is much superior to even buckwheat porridge. In the conditions of military service, such "subtlety" is also very important, since it is very difficult to do something well on an empty stomach, especially when it comes to physical and mental work.
Interesting fact: in the USSR army, pearl barley porridge was called "shrapnel" (for visual similarity), as well as "tarpaulin" and "bolts".
With all this, as already noted, neither the soldiers nor the officers liked barley porridge in the Soviet army. This is because pearl barley has one "terrible" drawback. In order for the porridge to be really tasty, it must be cooked properly. In particular, before boiling, cereals should be soaked in water for 5-6 hours. This changes its taste for the better. Of course, in the vast majority of cases, the army kitchen could not afford (or simply did not want) to spend time and effort on such delights.
Continuing the topic, read about why shops on the territory of military units are called "Chipki" and not only.