Food History is a resource for anybody interested in food history. Articles exploring various issues of food history will be featured regularly. Learning food history means that cultural study which involves multidisciplinary approaches from economics, sociology and demography, and even literature.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

History of buckwheat

The name ‘buckwheat’ comes from the Dutch word bockweit, which is indicative of the resemblance to beech the tree seeds and the wheat-like character of buckwheat flour.

Buckwheat is a native of Central Asia. Buckwheat is thought to have been domesticated in China about 1000 BC and reached Japan by 722 AD.

Its heartland of cultivation is the mountainous are stretching from northern India through Nepal and China to Korea and Japan.
Japanese buckwheat noodle

Buckwheat was cultivated in the steppes north of the Black Sea by the Iron Age (500 BC). It was introduced to Europe through Turkey and Russian during the 14th century, then to England and the US during the 17th century.

Buckwheat was introduced into the United States by the Dutch during the 1600s. Poles and Russians have used buckwheat as an important main ingredient in their traditional fare for many generations.

At the beginning of the 12th century, buckwheat was produced in significant areas in Russia (2,600,000 hectares), in France (335,000 hectares), and in Poland (290,000 hectares).

Currently it is cultivated worldwide on about more than 3 million hectares.
History of buckwheat