Kasha, or roasted buckwheat groats, comes from a plant that is native to Northern Europe and Asia. It was cultivated in China between the 10-13th century. It spread to Europe, via Turkey during the 14th and 15th century. By the 17th century, it hit Great Britain and the US. Today, Russia and Poland are the largest producers.
Kasha has a toasty, nutty flavor. The seeds are back and triangular in shape, approximately the size of a grain of wheat. The seeds must be hulled. The shell is inedible. They are passed between 2 mechanical rollers. Roasted cracked or whole buckwheat is called kasha.
Buckwheat groats grow on a plant, similar to rhubarb. Buckwheat is a grass that is an important agricultural crop for producing livestock feed. It grows on a bushy plant that produces white or pink flowers. The nectar that is produced in the flower brings about a dark, rich, almost molasses style of honey. It is not as sweet as a common wildflower honey.
Buckwheat Flour is made from milling the buckwheat grain. It is very dark, and velvety, and has a very strong assertive flavor. Buckwheat flour is naturally gluten free
Buckwheat Flour is commonly used to make such items such as long Italian noodles called Pezzoccheri or Pizzoccheri or Japanese Soba Noodles. In Russia they use buckwheat flour to make flat crepe-like pancakes called bilinis.
Kasha is great cold in salads. It contains magnesium, potassium, copper, zinc, phosphorus, folic acid, iron, and pantothenic acid. Buckwheat flour is high in protein, so therefore benefits from being refrigerated/ frozen when stored.
To cook buckwheat groats/ kasha use 1 part of grains to 1 ½ to 2 parts liquid to yield of 2 cups cooked grain in about 12-20 minutes of cooking time.
Pairings for Kasha
© 2013 Chef Jennifer M. Denlinger All rights reserved
Cite me: Denlinger, J. (2013, June 6). Kasha. Retrieved from: FloridaChef.net