I was first introduced to ployes several years ago at a ukulele breakfast at Local Sprouts Cafe in Portland, Maine. While a ukulele breakfast doesn’t exactly evoke thoughts of Maine, the ployes originated in Maine and is essentially our version of a buckwheat pancake.
Buckwheat pancakes have long been a staple of French cooking. French-speaking Acadians first settled in Maine along the New Brunswick border of Canada in the Upper Saint John Valley around the 1780s. They began to primarily plant wheat but grew other grains such as buckwheat. However, when an insect called wheat midge, came to this region in the 1830s, it destroyed their wheat crop. Farmers were forced to switch their primary wheat crop to oats and buckwheat, and began to incorporate these grains more into their diet. Thus, ployes took over for wheat bread as a meal accompaniment, and were often eaten three times a day (even sometimes for dessert). My favorite way to eat ployes is with this blueberry-rhubarb jam and a dose of maple syrup. But please don’t limit these to breakfast, I’ve also used them instead of tortillas for fish and breakfast tacos with great success.
The Bite: We’ve made it to week four of our tooth anatomy crash course. Both enamel and dentin have been covered, so today we’re going to delve into dental pulp. The dental pulp is your tooth’s supplier and one that you don’t want to mess with. You see, the pulp houses some of your tooth’s most essential components. It contains the blood vessels which delivers nutrients to your teeth, nerves, which allows your teeth to feel sensation (including pain), and odontoblasts, which are cells that help make up your dentin. If you have damage to this area, either through decay or trauma, you’re most likely going to feel pain and may need a root canal, which removes your dental pulp and the nerves along with it. I’ve never had a root canal and want to keep it that way. So, in the future, I’m going to do everything I can to not mess with my pulp.
Ployes with Blueberry-Rhubarb Chia Seed Compote
Yield: 3 cups master mix (about six ployes per batch) and 1 cup of compote
The Master Mix
2 cups buckwheat flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup master mix
2/3 cup cold water
1/3 cup boiling water
Blueberry-Rhubarb Chia Seed Jam
1 cup blueberries
1 cup rhubarb
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1 tablespoon flax seeds
additional sweetner to taste
Combine all of the ingredients and store in a container for future use.
Combine 1 cup master mix with the cold water. Mix well and let sit for 5 minutes. The batter will thicken slightly. Add the boiling water and stir well to combine. Heat a griddle or fry pan over medium high heat. Grease the cooking surface and spoon a couple tablespoons of batter onto the surface. With the back of the spoon, spread the batter into a thin round circle (you are only going to cook the ployes on one side, so thinning the batter ensures that it cooks all the way through). Cook the ployes on medium high heat for about 3 minutes. You will know when they’re down once small bubbles have formed on the surface and the top is cooked through. Serve with maple syrup, jam, butter, or all three.
Note: The history of ployes was found here. Feel free to read the page for more details!