Despite its name, buckwheat is not actually a cereal, but a member of the rhubarb family. It is available in the form of unroasted and roasted grains. The unroasted grains are a greenish colour and are best cooked with other ingredients, as in a casserole. The brown roasted grains are used to make a flour which can be used for pancakes, crisp thin cakes, and Japanese noodles called soba. It makes an excellent substitute for rice and various risotto-like dishes can be made from it. Buckwheat flour is beautifully light and used on its own or mixed with wheat flour, makes delicious crêpes. It is also used in the traditional Russian dish called ‘blinis’.