An ancient crop, buckwheat made its way from Asia to Europe before Antony met Cleopatra. In the 1600s, the Dutch brought it to North America, where it flourished, making New York a modern-day center of buckwheat processing. Birkett Mill still anchors New York's buckwheat production. It’s been milling buckwheat and only buckwheat in the center of the state—Penn Yan, to be specific—since 1797.
Ed blends Birkett Mill buckwheat with wheat flour, buttermilk and a few secret spices to make Grateful Ed’s pancake mix. Given his nickname, you might be worried about what “secret spices” he’s adding, but, I swear, no bad flashbacks have been reported. Because of the buckwheat, pancakes made with Ed’s mix are unmistakably nutty. Fresh from the pan they remind me of chestnuts coming off a fire. Their texture is light. Great with warm maple syrup, but Ed tells me he enjoys them with plain yogurt and apple butter too. Whenever I make a batch I keep the leftovers in the fridge and grab them throughout the day for a quick snack, rolled up with a bit of butter and maybe some fruit.
Bonus—use it to make waffles too!