Buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum)
History of this emblematic cereal in Brittany.
Of Asian origin, it was introduced to Brittany at the end of the 15th century. Its rustic characteristics acclimatised perfectly to the damp, siliceous soil in Brittany.
It is said that Anne de Bretagne, Duchess of Brittany, favoured this crop. In 1547, Noël Du Fail wrote ” In truth, without this grain which came to us 60 years gone, poor people of this country would have suffered indeed”
The peasants refused to pay tithe on this new crop which also contributed to it spreading.
For several centuries, buckwheat became peasants’ staple diet before being forgotten in the second half of the 19th century.
Nowadays, buckwheat is enjoying its comeback. It is an ecological plant with a short lifecycle (average 100 days), It doesn’t need to be treated with either herbicides or pesticides. It contains no gluten and its proteins are amongst the best in the plant world.
More and more food professionals are promoting its qualitites in terms of nutrition and taste.