The scientific truth is buckwheat is not a wheat but a fruit. It is native to central Asia and rhubarb is its close relative. Best of all, these days, pure, wheat-like buckwheat is also wheat-free and gluten-free.
Each Buckwheat particle is a triangular seed, known as a groat, once it’s removed from its hull. After buckwheat groats are roasted, they’re known as kasha. In stores, you will find buckwheat as a flour, or in pancake and waffle mixes and as curiously-shaped groats/kasha, brown kernels used in many dishes.
Buckwheat was used in China as early as 2000 BC. It soon spread to Asia then into Eastern Europe where kasha was widely popular. The Germans and Dutch were credited for bringing buckwheat to the new world. Today, the Japanese are heavy importers of buckwheat to make their soba noodles, some mixed with wheat, others not.
Buckwheat is rich in B vitamins, iron, calcium, phosphorous, lysine and other minerals.
Kasha is cooked into soups, stuffings, meat dishes and hot cereals.
Buckwheat pancakes take on new dimensions with chopped nuts, citrus zest, blueberries or dried cranberries. Most anything which does well in muffins will make delicious pancakes. Top with syrup, yogurt or fruit.
In Japanese soba noodles, some made with wheat, some without.
Foodsites with buckwheat/kasha recipes: