Bongpyeong Buckwheat

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Buckwheat was introduced in South Korea by the Chinese during the Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD), brought over from the provinces of Sechuan and Yunan. But you need to go back to the Yi Dynasty for the first written record in the Nongsajiksul book (1429) to find the methods for growing buckwheat in the different territories of the Korean Peninsula.

Buckwheat is a flowering plant that belongs to the Polygonaceae family, reaching a height of between 60 and 90 centimetres. Buckwheat grains are small, dark brown in colour and recognisable by their slightly triangular shape. Its flower is a light pink or white, and are quite special, making the landscape incredibly beautiful when they flower, starting in July. Historically, Gangwon province buckwheat was grown as an emergency product, in not very fertile lands that characterise mountainous areas.

In Bongpyeong, in the Gangwon province, the local buckwheat variety is a powerful symbol for both cultural and gastronomic reasons. Every year, there is a festival dedicated to buckwheat flowering; in addition, the Korean writer, Lee Hyoseok, originally from Bongpyeong, wrote a novel entitled When the Buckwheat Flower is about to Blossom (1939) to celebrate the beauty of the landscape.

Buckwheat is high in protein and has a special taste. It can be found in various gastronomic preparations: it is used to make noodles, called naengmyōn (noodles in broth, eaten in summer), or used to make a kind of crepe. It is also used to make a special, buckwheat-based gelatin.


Growing buckwheat in the past few years is dwindling because of climate change, so only a few farmers continue to laboriously grow it.

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Territory

StateSouth Korea
Region

Gangwon-do

Production area:Bongpyeong

Other info

Categories

Cereals and flours