Copyright 1997 Alan T. Hagan. All rights reserved.
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Buckwheat is another of those foods commonly considered to be a "grain", but which is not a true cereal. It is a close relative to the docks and sorrels. The "grain" itself is a dark, three cornered seed resembling a tiny beechnut. It has a hard, fibrous hull that requires a special buckwheat huller to remove it. Here in the US, it is most often used in pancakes, biscuits and muffins. In eastern Europe and Russia it is known in its toasted form as kasha. In the Far East, it's often made into soba or noodles. It's also a good bee plant, producing a dark, strongly flavored honey. The flour is light or dark depending on how much of the hull has been removed before grinding. Dark flour is far superior nutritionally as you might expect, but it also much more strongly flavored. Buckwheat is one of those foods with no middle ground in peoples opinions - they either love it or they hate it. Like amaranth, it's high in lysine, an amino acid commonly lacking in the true cereal grains.
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