The main difference between buckwheat and bulgur wheat is that buckwheat is completely gluten-free, whereas bulgur wheat is not gluten-free.
Although the name buckwheat has wheat in it, buckwheat is not related to wheat. It’s a pseudocereal related to sorrel and rhubarb. Therefore it does not contain any gluten. Bulgur wheat, on the other hand, is a type of wheat product. Therefore, it naturally contains wheat.
Key Areas Covered
Buckwheat, Bulgur Wheat
What is Buckwheat
Buckwheat is a pseudocereal that comes from the Fagopyrum esculentum plant. In Asia, buckwheat is obtained from the related Fagopyrum tataricum plant. Despite its name, buckwheat has no relation to wheat. It is related to knotweed, sorrel, and rhubarb. But we can sometimes use buckwheat as a substitute for wheat grains like bulgur and freekeh.
Buckwheat is an ancient grain and has been cultivated in many regions for more than 8000 years. But with the introduction of nitrogen fertilizers in the 20th century, the production of buckwheat decreased drastically. This is because farmers started to grow crops like corn and wheat in place of buckwheat. However, buckwheat still plays a major role in Eastern European cuisines. Buckwheat is available as flour, kasha, and soba noodles. When compared with grains like rice and wheat, buckwheat has a somewhat bitter taste. Preparing buckwheat involves rinsing and then boiling the grains with a 1:2 ratio of water.
When considering its nutrition profile, buckwheat is 72% carbohydrates, 10% dietary fiber, 13% protein, 10% water, and 3% fat. Buckwheat is completely free of gluten and is a rich source of plant protein and dietary fiber. It also contains four B vitamins and dietary minerals like niacin, magnesium, manganese, and phosphorus.
What is Bulgur Wheat
Bulgur wheat is a cereal grain made from parboiled, cracked wheat. It is made with different wheat species, but the most commonly used species is durum wheat. It’s a common ingredient in the cuisines of West Asia and the Mediterranean region. Bulgur wheat has a texture similar to quinoa or couscous, and its taste is mild.
Since bulgur wheat is already parboiled, it does not need much cooking. Some people prepare it by just soaking it in water. However, if the grain is coarse, you will have to cook it for a longer time. Recipes like pottages, tabbouleh salad, kısır, pilavs, breads, and kheer contain bulgur wheat.
Bulgur wheat is a whole grain (contains the germ, bran, and endosperm of the grain). This means it’s more nutritious than refined wheat products. Bulgur wheat contains carbohydrates, proteins, dietary fiber, several minerals, and vitamins.
Difference Between Buckwheat and Bulgur Wheat
Buckwheat is a pseudocereal that comes from the Fagopyrum esculentum plant, while bulgur wheat is a cereal grain made from parboiled, cracked wheat.
While bulgur wheat is made from wheat, buckwheat is not related to wheat.
Buckwheat available in the market is not cooked, whereas bulgur wheat is parboiled.
Buckwheat is completely gluten-free, whereas bulgur wheat is not gluten-free.
Buckwheat has a higher fat content than bulgur.
Bulgur has more dietary fiber than buckwheat
Buckwheat has a higher protein content than bulgur
The main difference between buckwheat and bulgur wheat is their gluten content. Since bulgur wheat is a type of wheat, it contains gluten. However, buckwheat is completely gluten-free. In general, both are healthy and contain protein, dietary fibers, and several vitamins and minerals.
1. “Buckwheat and products from it 01” By Andrey Korzun – Own work (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Boiled fresh bulgur porridge in a white bowl” By Marco Verch Professional Photography (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr