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Kasha? Options
dave freak
Posted: Thursday, August 10, 2017 8:18:07 AM
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Hi there!


In Poland we eat soups a lot, as we're mostly keen on cooking, since you know what you eat. In the summer time on a Polish kitchen table you're likely to see new potatoes (called here "young potatoes"), usually not smashed, accompanied by some meat or fish plus some kind of salad. It's commonplace for Poles to eat rice and kasha. In Polish, we pronounce the latter virtually in the same way as you do in English. However, is it only used by cooks? Do you call it this way?

There are several types of kasha. That's what I've found on the net:

buckwheat, barley grits, groats.

I don't know what the exact difference is between them.
Higgs271
Posted: Thursday, August 10, 2017 4:53:54 PM

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Location: Orange, California, United States
it depends on what kind of diet you follow :) most Americans don't eat buckwheat groats, and i'm not sure at all about barley grits... probably most Americans don't know what kasha is...

the exception here would be Jewish cuisine, which cooks buckwheat groats as a dish by itself, or uses them in other dishes... i believe "kasha" is the Jewish word for buckwheat groats... kasha was brought here by our Jewish immigrants from central and eastern europe...

the other exception would be certain natural health food diets, such as macrobiotic, which place an emphasis on whole grains and vegetables...

years ago my wife and i were vegetarians and followed a modified macrobiotic diet... kasha was a popular winter dish for us, cooked like oatmeal or porridge, because buckwheat is heat-producing and perfect for keeping you warm against the cold winter weather :) (at that time we lived in the midwest where there's lots of snow and freezing winds in the winter)

i don't think we ever ate barley grits, though i'm pretty sure the health food stores carried them... mostly we ate beans and rice and other whole grains :) and vegetables and fruits :) very healthy :)
Sonya222
Posted: Thursday, August 10, 2017 4:58:31 PM

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Hi there!

Just some of my observations. From what I see in different cooking videos whether by professional cooks or not, what you (or me) would call kasha, English speakers usually just name the type of grains used to make it: buckwheat, oatmeal, qinoa, millet etc. In Russia we do too, but we also add the word "kasha" after :)

Hope that helps!
Parpar1836
Posted: Thursday, August 10, 2017 5:25:44 PM
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Location: Rochester, New York, United States
Just some noodlings . . .

I grew up with kasha varnishkes, a favorite East European Jewish dish (one of my faves too): kasha prepared with bits of sautéed onion and bowtie pasta (a.k.a. "farfalle"). Birkett Mills, which makes Wolff's Kasha (available in fine, medium, and whole granulations) is located in Penn Yan, New York, in the Finger Lakes District. The Birkett Mills factory is a landmark (I've seen it from afar). About 6 or 7 years ago, there was a flood that devastated the downtown area, but Birkett Mills announced that it was not going to relocate, it was going to stay right there. A good company.

Kasha is a versatile food; it can be used in pilafs, and I enjoy experimenting with it. I've seen it used as stuffing for knishes (the Jewish version of the empanada).


L.Rai
Posted: Thursday, August 10, 2017 11:05:43 PM

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Kasha varnishka...yum. I grew up with that too and it was a standard dish on a Friday night with a brisket. Ahhh memories...you could walk home on Friday after school and smell it throughout the neighborhood and know which homes were Jewish. When I went to Kazakhstan I quickly learned that kasha was the word they used for "oatmeal" not buckwheat, that was called grechka. When I asked for kasha I was shocked to be given oatmeal so I quickly learned how to say grechka instead so I got buckwheat.

This thread brought back nice memories...thanks :)
leonAzul
Posted: Friday, August 11, 2017 5:31:06 AM

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dave freak wrote:
Hi there!


In Poland we eat soups a lot, as we're mostly keen on cooking, since you know what you eat. In the summer time on a Polish kitchen table you're likely to see new potatoes (called here "young potatoes"), usually not smashed, accompanied by some meat or fish plus some kind of salad. It's commonplace for Poles to eat rice and kasha. In Polish, we pronounce the latter virtually in the same way as you do in English. However, is it only used by cooks? Do you call it this way?

There are several types of kasha. That's what I've found on the net:

buckwheat, barley grits, groats.

I don't know what the exact difference is between them.


In addition to the above, I'd like to offer some more explanation.

For those Americans who are aware of it, "kasha" refers to buckwheat groats. As a prepared dish, it is typically simmered in broth, most often from chicken, but also from other meat or vegetable stock. Some other cuisines refer to any dish prepared from groats as "kasha", but here that would certainly not refer to any sort of "grits", which are coarsely ground grain (in British English, "corn"), and which almost always means "maize" in America (which to most Americans is synonymous with "corn").

The word "groat" refers to the husked whole kernel of a cereal grain that has not been milled, ground, or otherwise processed. (The TFD has a definition that includes "milled grain" as groats, but it is my humble opinion that this reflects a shift in meaning due to ignorance rather than a legitimate definition.)

Thus, it is correct to refer to barley groats, oat groats, wheat groats, rye groats, millet groats, quinoa groats, even "maize groats" (although I doubt many persons would understand that phrase), but it is not very common to use "groats" to refer to anything but buckwheat in North America.
dave freak
Posted: Friday, August 11, 2017 8:45:40 AM
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Thank you guys for your contribution. Applause

Much as most Americans might not be aware of the term "kasha", I'm pretty sure they know what kielbasa (=a Polish sausage) or pierogi (a Polish traditional dish) are, don't they? Some English speakers call them dumplings, but it's too broad a term, I think, as it applies to the whole Eastern Europe.

Let's leave the topic out, shall we? I'm getting hungry. :) Funnily enough, I've got potato and cheese pierogi for dinner. Dancing
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Monday, August 14, 2017 9:14:03 AM

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It seems you have to have a very 'special' upbringing to understand these.

I've never (67 years) heard of "kasha", "kielbasa" or "pierogi" - but I have heard of 'kibbled wheat', 'Polish sausage' and 'dumplings'.

You ask the difference between buckwheat, barley grits and groats.
Buckwheat and barley are simply two different plants - both grasses, but very different in shape and geography (barley is European temperate climate, buckwheat is originally Asian hot-weather).

The first is buckwheat, the second is barley.



[image not available]


[image not available]


"Groats" are the whole grains (like those you see under the ear of barley in the picture.
So it's a generic term - you can have wheat groats, barley groats, millet groats, rice groats (usually called 'wild rice' or 'unpolished rice').

Grits is coarsely ground grain - any grain, again generic.
So you can have barley grits, Indian Corn grits, wheat grits (also called 'kibbled wheat') and so on.

So you have - oat groats:



Oat grits:



Oat meal (crushed totally flat and powdery)



And Oat flour:



**************
So basically, kasha is porridge - yeah?
Харбин Хэйлунцзян 1
Posted: Monday, August 14, 2017 10:33:55 AM

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Drag0nspeaker wrote:
So basically, kasha is porridge - yeah?

Kasha is generic. I guess the best translation would be 'cereal'.

Манная каша (манка) - this is something all children hate:



I guess it's wheat grits. Actually 'манна' is something that was given to Jews to eat when they were in the desert.

Гречневая каша (гречка) - this is something all children love:



And it's buckwheat.

Рисовая каша:



Rice.

Овсяная каша (овсянка) - this is commonly believed to be a traditional British meal :):



Oats. You can call it porridge if you want.

dave freak
Posted: Monday, August 14, 2017 11:59:50 AM
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Joined: 4/29/2013
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Dragon@

Great explanation of the issue. Thank you very much for your taking the time to refer to the topic in-depth. And these pictures! Simply brilliant. Applause

Kasha isn't porrige here in Poland. It's a generic term, as Харбин Хэйлунцзян 1 said. I think that "groats" would be the closest equivalent to the word "kasha".

Харбин Хэйлунцзян 1@

Our cuisines are very alike.

Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Monday, August 14, 2017 12:22:00 PM

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Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
The top one (not really liked by most kids - hated by many) is semolina.
It's durum wheat (from north Africa and the middle east (not wheat from western Europe and the UK). It is somewhere in between the texture of flour and grits - maybe you'd call it "fine grits".

The second is kibbled wheat - not common in Britain now, eaten boiled with fried eggs and bacon for breakfast in the USA as "Grits".


The third is rice pudding - made with milk, cream and sugar.
Very popular in the UK.

The fourth is what I would call 'gruel' - though really gruel is made with a little meat and a lot of water. That looks like a little porridge and a lot of water/milk.
Porridge is rather solid.


Besides the cuisines being similar, tastes are obviously similar too.
I wonder if there are ANY countries where the kids like semolina/манка?

I recognise the word manna from the story of the Exodus.
Харбин Хэйлунцзян 1
Posted: Monday, August 14, 2017 2:17:31 PM

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Drag0nspeaker wrote:
The second is kibbled wheat - not common in Britain now

No, it's buckwheat - our traditional food. What I hated most in Canada is that they didn't have buckwheat in food stores. I guess it is not very common in Britain but I could find it:

https://www.mysupermarket.co.uk/tesco-price-comparison/Rice_Pulses_And_Grain/Tesco_Whole_Foods_Buckwheat_500g.html

Though it's too dear - £1.90 (148р) / 500g and it's robbery. I buy it for 36р / kilo. And it's a little different here - it is sold preprocessed (roasted). Just took a picture:



Sarrriesfan
Posted: Monday, August 14, 2017 6:36:33 PM

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Харбин Хэйлунцзян 1 wrote:
Drag0nspeaker wrote:
The second is kibbled wheat - not common in Britain now

No, it's buckwheat - our traditional food. What I hated most in Canada is that they didn't have buckwheat in food stores. I guess it is not very common in Britain but I could find it:

https://www.mysupermarket.co.uk/tesco-price-comparison/Rice_Pulses_And_Grain/Tesco_Whole_Foods_Buckwheat_500g.html

Though it's too dear - £1.90 (148р) / 500g and it's robbery. I buy it for 36р / kilo. And it's a little different here - it is sold preprocessed (roasted). Just took a picture:





It's dear because its not a common food here of the big supermarkets in that price comparison only one Tesco stock it at all, other grains that are more traditionally eaten in the UK would be cheaper.
You are paying extra because it is a speciality item.
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