Too bad then, that it's so expensive here in Norway. A tiny package of 500 grams costs me 50 kroner (about €6.5). If it were any other flour, I really wouldn't bother. As much as I love trying out different things, there's a limit and I have no intention of crossing it. Buckwheat, though, is in a different dimension of its own. Compared to other flours, it has a unique taste; very earthy and strange with a hint of some kind of 'nuttiness'.
Apparently buckwheat is the main flour used in Eastern Europe – a main ingredient in blinis, for instance, but the flour is wildly used in other countries too, such as Japan, China, Korea and, of course, France. Indeed, the largest producer is Russia, followed by China, the Ukraine, France and Poland. Personally, I first tasted in this summer when I was in Brittany, where buckwheat – known as blé noir or sarrasin – is pretty much the only flour in their traditional cuisine. The Bretons use it to make their delicious galettes de blé noir (savoury crêpes), but is also cooked and served in their kig-ha-farz (lit. meat and stuffing), among others. Naturally, this is all to be encouraged.
But enough about the flour, let's talk pancakes. If you're used to ''American-style'' pancakes, then these are nothing like it. To clarify, they're not sweet at all. Just earthy. And slightly nutty. If you're more used to Russian-style blinis, then you'll find these taste (almost) the same. Don't let the lack of sweetness bother you, though. You can now add loads of maple syrup to your pancakes without feeling the slightest pangs of guilt. Neat, right? I mean, I know I said I always prefer savoury breakfasts, and I did try serving these with brown cheese, but it was just wrong. So off I went to the kitchen cupboard to find the bottle of maple syrup dad brought home from Canada, only to find the few drops left mouldy. Good thing I had fresh blueberries in the refrigerator.
And... in case I haven't convinced you yet (and at the risk of sounding like a salesmen), buckwheat flour is gluten-free, so perfect if you have any breakfast guests who are sensitive to gluten. Personally I use this as an excuse to eat many more than I should. It's quite illogical, but everyone has an Achilles heal and this is mine. So let's just not tell anyone, okay?
|Buckwheat Pancakes |
Recipes by London Eats
225 g. buckwheat flour
1 tsp. baking powder
300 ml. milk
50 ml. water
Pinch of salt
1.Put all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk until the batter is smooth.
2.Heat a frying pan and grease with a little oil or butter. Pour enough batter to make palm-sized pancakes (you will get three in a large pan) and cook until the top is covered in bubbles. Flip over and cook until golden.