In Old Russian books and classical literature there are many mentions of Smolensk groat sand Smolensk porridge. Today very few people know about this product.
In ancient sources it was written that Smolensk groats are “especially small and tender.” It is considered that the recipe of production of the unique Smolensk groats is irretrievably lost. Is this true? And what, in fact, was real Russian Smolensk groats?
Refined Buckwheat Groats
There used to be known three types of buckwheat. Two of them are still made in Russia today – unground buckwheat (whole grain) and crushed buckwheat. The third kind – Smolensk gorats – was made by hand and looked like small light-color grains, refined and elegant. It was prepared like that: unground buckwheat was washed, and rolled off in the mill-stones with special notches.
What Kind of Mill-Stones were Used?
It is not exactly known. However, it is possible to produce Smolensk groats today as well. A manual processing method of unground buckwheat is described by a modern researcher of the Russian cuisine Maxim Syrnikov. Whole grains of buckwheat are poured on the board, rolled off with a cast iron range until you get light small grains, and then sift everything.
Porridge from Smolensk groats is recommended by Chef Elena Molokhovetz to cook for children, as well as adults who are prescribed a special diet. It was used also for making of fillings and casseroles. This product cooks quickly, has a nice texture and is very easy to digest. In the middle of the 19th century Smolensk porridge was considered an exquisite dish, which was much enjoyed by European guests.
Smolensk groats was cooked in a specially prepared broth. First you put onions, parsnip and spices in the water, and then – the groats. When porridge is ready, it was dressed with pepper, herbs, butter or sour cream. It is important to let it stand for 15 minutes, and only then serve it.
Smolensk porridge is an example of a slightly forgotten traditional Russian dish which reflects classical features of the Russian cuisine.
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