|Main ingredients||Cereal (buckwheat, wheat, barley, oats, millet or rye)|
Kasha is a term used in Central and Eastern Europe, especially Russia and Ukraine, and the United States for the pseudocereal buckwheat. The largest gross consumption per capita is in Russia 15 kg per year and Ukraine 12 kg per year. The share of buckwheat in the total consumption of cereals in Russia is 20%.
The word kasha was introduced into American English by Jewish immigrants and it generally refers to roasted whole-grain buckwheat of buckwheat groats. However, 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 1,000 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). 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. Annual (2013) per capita consumption of groats in Poland ca. 1,56 kg per year (0,13 kg in a month).
In Russian culture
Kasha is commemorated in the Russian saying "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 a popular filling for knishes and is sometimes included in matzah-ball soup.
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