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Despite what its name suggests, buckwheat is not related to wheat. (And though it seems counter-intutitive, it’s gluten-free.) Not a grass like regular wheat, buckwheat is more closely related to rhubarb.
Buckwheat is a nutritional powerhouse that is a central component of Eastern European cuisine. Those who have used buckwheat flour probably recall a certain bitterness. Buckwheat groats are the hulled seeds of the buckwheat plant, and their taste is quite mild. In contrast, the flour is ground from the seed hulls. Buckwheat groats look and taste a lot like steel cut oats, but the softer seeds can be enjoyed raw. When roasted, they take on a delightful, more intense flavor.