But did you know that buckwheat is gluten free?
Imrpbable research found a report on a lot of buckwheat remains in the poo of a medieval bishop.
so how did they eat buckwheat? as groats,,, or in cakes/flat bread.. you probably now it as "Kasha", and is one of the comfort foods for Russians and in the US among the Jewish community whose roots were in eastern Europe..
Wikipedia page on buckwheat.
Most Americans only know it from buckwheat pancakes (or as Blinis).
because buckwheat has a short growing season, it is often used in cooler climates or as a fall (second) crop.
So was it used by the Vikings?
Foremost amongst Viking crops was grain. Smaller versions of today’s barley, wheat, rye, and buckwheat grew on the Scandinavian coasts. The Vikings used their grains to make bread and porridge, or to enrich soups and meat. Aside from grains, farmers kept home gardens, where they planted peas, beans, onions, angelica, hops, parsnips, wild carrots, cabbage, and garlic.
there was little oats or wheat in Scandanavia, so the bread was often made from barley...or rye.
yup.. housewives would have to grind it, and the bread was hard an full of sand.
and this BCC article implies they had a healthy diet. Well, yes, if you were rich and didn't mind a bit of scurvy from the high protein no fresh veggie diet... or did they eat sauerkraut? Did the Vikings suffer from Pellgra? BeriBeri? Scurvy?
but the real problem with a high protein diet is constiptation... which is probably why docs back then were big on giving medicines to purge people.
A lot of the herbal books from those days include recipes for weakness that one suspects was scurvy or vitamin deficiency, which of course could be treated with ertain herbs.
if you want more information on Viking bread culture, Wikipedia has a page on that.
Soba noodles are made of buckwheat, and were considered a health food in Japan, probably because they supplied the B vitimins lacking in polished rice.
a good source on some of these things is Braudel's classic book the Structures of EVeryday life... it's fascinating but more of a book but it tends to skip back and forth in time and place...I usually checked the index to find what I was interested in...
I brought the first book (it is a three volume set) with me to the Philippines.
Here is an excerpt of some facts in that book.