As the days get colder and the mornings get darker, a hot breakfast seems to be a more important part of the day. Something about a hearty first meal makes it easier to brave the elements. Pancakes and waffles are the two things that always come to mind to fit that bill. In my house those dishes are typically made with buckwheat flour.
Buckwheat is very popular in China, Korea, Japan and Eastern Europe but doesn’t have much of a name for itself in the US. Unless of course you know it by its other name, kasha.You may have encountered buckwheat in soba noodles, hot cereal or blinis while you suck down your bowls of imported Russian caviar.
In addition to adding variation in flavor to your repertoire, buckwheat is one of the many great crops that are used in sustainable farming. Since buckwheat grows so well in mediocre soil, high heat and is very drought-resistant, it can be used as a cover crop to grow in between other plantings since it roots and flowers rapidly, choking out weeds.
One last tidbit, buckwheat is gluten-free so its popularity, in light of the number of people who have trouble digesting gluten, is on the rise.
Buckwheat can be a welcome addition to your pantry and as its namesake would tell you, it’s O’tay.