Hey, What Exactly is Buckwheat?
Buckwheat—rustic, robust, earthy and healthful to boot—wows us every time we eat it. But what exactly is it (hint: it's not really a grain)? Here are some tasty facts about this delectable superfood and two even tastier buckwheat products to start cooking with now.
- Buckwheat isn't actually wheat at all. While it's name suggest otherwise, buckwheat is actually a fruit seed (Did you know it's more closely related to rhubarb and sorrel?).
- Buckwheat is gluten-free. Since these small pyramid-shaped groats are truly seeds, they're naturally gluten-free.
- Buckwheat is a nutritional powerhouse. It might be small in size, but buckwheat is packed with nutrients—it's high in protein, full of fiber and B vitamins (just to name a few)—plus, it tastes great!
Taragna polenta—made from a combination of coarsely ground yellow corn and buckwheat flour—is a Northern-Italian staple: rich, earthy with just a touch of sweetness.
Buckwheat brilliant: This gluten-free polenta pairs with equally full-bodied toppings—serve with slow-simmered meat sauces, braised sausages, or garnish with sautéed greens, an olive oil-fried egg and a drift of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Pizzoccheri—a northern Italian type of short tagliatelle made with whole-wheat durum semolina, buckwheat flour and durum wheat semolina—finds its origins in Valtellina, a valley at the very top of Lombardy.
Buckwheat brilliant: This hearty pasta is traditionally paired with potatoes, cabbage, fontina cheese and butter in Pizzoccheri Valtellinesi.
Pizzoccheri Valtellinesi—a classic Northern-Italian dish of buckwheat pasta, potatoes and Fontina val d'Aosta cheese drizzled with garlicky browned butter—is sure to stave off any winter blues.
Plus, this comforting dish comes together in under 30 minutes, so you can kick back and relax. See the full recipe ➤