MARTYN F. CHILLMAID / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARTYN F. CHILLMAID / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum) is related to sorrel, knotweed, and rhubarb. Rich in complex carbohydrates, it is referred to as a pseudo cereal. Buckwheat is cultivated in poor soil and production declined sharply in the 20th century as other staples increased their productivity with the increased use of nitrogen fertilizer. Blinis, noodles and savory crepes (Breton pancakes), all rely on its distinctive flour. France has its production on the west coast but the big world producers are China, Russia and the Ukraine.
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