Wheat was first cultivated in eastern Anatolia about 10,000 years ago, and it’s likely that before the grains were turned into flour for bread, they were stripped of their skins and boiled, to become a belly filler and a base for roasted meat or vegetables. Much later in history rice arrived from China, and the principle became: rice for the rich, bulgur for the poor. So the poor were better nourished.
In Turkey, bulgur is now sold in four grind classifications: extra fine (for kneading with raw meat in çiğ köfte); fine (for lentil köfte); coarse (for mixing into salads); and extra coarse (for pilav, served with stews). To make an interesting bulgur pilav: