|Cereal (buckwheat, wheat, barley, oats, millet or rye)|
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Kasha is a cereal eaten in Central and Eastern Europe (especially Russia) and the United States. It is a common filling for a knish. This English-language usage probably originated with Jewish immigrants, as did the form קאַשי "kashi" (technically plural, literally translated as "porridges").
In English, kasha generally refers to buckwheat groats, but in Slavic Europe, it refers to porridge in general and can be made from buckwheat or any cereal wheat, barley, oats, millet and rye. At least a thousand years old, kasha is one of the oldest known dishes in Central European and Eastern European cuisine.
In Russian, buckwheat is referred to formally as гречиха (grechikha) and buckwheat grain and buckwheat groats as гречневая крупа (grechnevaya krupa), while informally buckwheat grain and buckwheat groats are called гречка (grechka), and the porridge made from buckwheat groats is known as гречневая каша (grechnevaya kasha). In Polish, buckwheat porridge is referred to as kasza gryczana.
In Slavic culture
The centrality of kasha in the traditional Russian cuisine is also commemorated in the Russian proverb "щи да каша – пища наша", (shchi da kasha – pishcha nasha) literally "shchi and kasha are our food", or more loosely, "cabbage soup and porridge are all we need to live on".
In Jewish culture
As an Ashkenazi-Jewish comfort food, kasha is often served with onions and brown gravy on top of bow tie pasta, known as Kashe varnishkes (or Kasha varnishkas). Kasha is also a popular filling for knishes and is sometimes included in matzah-ball soup.
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