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.