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Monday, July 25, 2011


L. Fogopyrum esculentum, Eng. buckwheat, Saracen wheat. It is believed to be a native of central and western China. It is a phylum herb. It has alternate broad arrow-shaped leaves and clusters of pinkish white flowers blooming throughout the summer. It is planted in the beginning of summer. Within 40 days the flowers begin to bloom. Its triangular seeds are used as cereal grain to make brown bread. Seeds take about 35 days to ripen after which they are threshed or mowed and the plants are left to dry. This process continues until early fall. The seeds range from 4 to 6 mm long and about 2 mm wide. Each has a hull, the outer layer, and inner layer and a “middling” or seed coat. Inside this are the germ and the starchy endosperm. The hull is milled first. During the second milling the “middlings” are removed. The remaining substance is light brown flour. Another milling is required for it to become white. From the Romanesque Period to the 16th C north of the Alps, buckwheat was a basic nourishment for the poor as it can be  grown in very humid climates and in poor and sandy soils. Buckwheat flowers are a good honey source into the fall months. In Spain, during Muslim domination, new varieties of buckwheat were introduced and disseminated throughout Europe. In Spain it was used to make gachas and couscous. During wheat famines it was used to make bread. The English make cakes, bread and pancakes with it but usually blend it with other flours. The French crepes (galettes de sarrasin) are renown in Paris. Nola provides a recipe, below, which can be interpreted as pancakes or fritters. Buckwheat is added to poultry feed and middlings, rich in protein, are given to livestock. Although the straw is not as digestible, due to the carbohydrate content as other grain grasses, it is higher in protein than most. Juice, extracted from the leafless stems for the resin content, is used medicinally as a purgatory. [ES: Lunde. Mar 8, 05; Gázquez. Cocina. 2002:69:ftn 135; Martínez Llopis. Historia. 1981:145; Matossian. 1989:6; and Nola. 1989:xliii-1]


For 18-20 fritters


4 oz cream cheese
1 lb grated semi-soft cheese
salt to taste
2 c. buckwheat flour
2 c. whole milk
4 c. bread crumbs
4 l. regular olive oil
Cheese Fritters
Photo by: fabricyoyoqueen


Mix the cheeses and salt until combined. Chill overnight.
Roll pieces of the cheese mixture into smooth 1” balls.
Put the flour, milk and breadcrumbs in three separate bowls.
Bread the fritters by placing a ball of cheese in the flour and rolling it until completely coated. Dust off excess. Put the cheese ball into the milk and completely coat it. Roll it in the breadcrumbs and press the breadcrumbs into the cheese. Then repeat the milk and breadcrumb steps (the balls of cheese need to be completely coated or the cheese will leak out during frying). Continue until all of the cheese is breaded.
Chill for 1 hour.
Heat four liters of olive oil in a pot or deep frier over medium heat. Fry fritters until golden brown, three to four minutes. Continue frying until all of the fritters are fried.

NOTE: Today’s Mexican recipe “Buñuelos de Queso Fundido” is practically the same with chorizo, peppers added and pepper jelly as garnish.

*Slices of Fresh Cheese, which are translated as Fritters or Pancakes.

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