N: I have to start by saying that buckwheat is not a wheat but belongs to the knotweed family. If you feel scared by knotweed then it is worth mentioning that rhubarb also belongs to the same family. Buckwheat was domesticated in Southeast Asia around 6000 BC and has since travelled around the world. It is a low maintenance crop – grows quickly, needs very little water and does better without too much fertilizers or pesticide. Needless to say that agro chemical companies did not take a liking to these virtues and production of buckwheat got a beating from production of wheat With increase in gluten intolerance in the world the tables are starting to turn.
The Tibetans, Japanese and Koreans use it to make noodles; Russian farmers eat buckwheat porridge and in Europe savoury buckwheat crêpes (commonly called galletes) are a traditional delicacy.
The protein content in buckwheat is not the best of the lot when compared to wheat or quinoa but the well-balanced starch, protein, fat and mineral composition of this ancient crop has generated a lot of interest in the scientific community.
I make buckwheat salads with the groats but I mostly use the flour to enhance the sweetness in cakes and breads. Buckwheat flour has a special meaning for me as when I use this flour in crêpes I cannot help remember how it changed the lives of Eugenie in Balzac’s Eugenie Grandet and Patty in Franzen’s Freedom.
Mix together 1/2 cup of buckwheat flour with 1/2 cup of whole meal flour. Add a cup of milk and a cup of water. Add 1 tsp of semolina to the mix.
Mix together and allow it to rest overnight. Keep it in the fridge.
In the morning add 1 egg and stir well.
Make the crêpes and serve with condiments of your choice.
It seems buckwheat flowers make a very dark coloured honey. If you have tried that honey do let us know.