Grain Basics – Turning Wheat Berries into Bulghur (Bulgar)

Categories: Articles, Cooking tips

Grain Basics – Turning Wheat Berries into Bulghur (Bulgar)

First, let’s clear up a confusing point. What is a wheat berry? The dictionary meaning is that it is the original wheat grain before grinding or milling. It is often used interchangeably with ‘wheat grain’. But there is more to it… (info)

Wheat waiting to be turned into bulghur

If you’ve read Grain Basics – Bulghur and Cracked Wheat, then you are ready for this second article – it’s for the adventurous amongst us who want to make our own products as much as possible. Most likely you’re hooked on the wonderful flavour and nutritious benefits of bulgur…bulgar…er…bulghur. No matter, all spellings are correct and just reflect the country of its (spelling) origin – be that Arabic countries, Turkey, Bulgaria or elsewhere.

First, let’s clear up a confusing point. What is a wheat berry? The dictionary meaning is that it is the original wheat grain before grinding or milling. It is often used interchangeably with ‘wheat grain’. The confusion lies in the mistranslations and the inconsistency within the industry itself. Some sources refer to wheat grain as that what you can pull off an ear of wheat straight off the field before it it processed further. Click here for a very nice close up photo and info. Here is another link to more interesting information.

Technically, wheat, like all grasses produces a caryopsis which is the fruit (grain) of the plant. Older vernacular referred to this as the ‘berry’. Hence, wheat berry.

Now that you are that much wiser, you’ll sleep better tonight.

And now that you know that bulghur is the partially hulled cooked wheat berry (grain) and cracked wheat involves the raw (uncooked) wheat berry (grain), you are ready for a quick outline of how to make your own bulghur as is done in many areas of the Near and Middle East today.

Bulghur is usually made from hard (red) wheat, but it can also be made from soft (white) wheat. Doing it at home renders a natural, light brown product. The pale product you see in shops has been bleached.

http://www.epicureantable.com/articles/agrainbulgur2.htm