Buckwheat flour is easily recognizable. It is dark, almost purple in color, and has a very distinct flavor. It is bit of a deep, earthy taste. Traditionally, buckwheat flour is used to make galettes and buckwheat crepes in north-western France, in Russia to make blini, and in many Asian countries to make noodles. The name "buckwheat" comes from the Middle Dutch for "beech-wheat" because the triangularly-shaped groats look similar to beech-tree nuts. Because of it's assertive flavor, buckwheat pairs well with fall fruits, as in these Pear and Buckwheat Pancakes.
These little breakfast cakes are topped with a rich honey butter instead of the usual maple syrup accompaniment. The honey goes wonerfully with the buckwheat while the pears lend a bit of moisture, texture, and sweetness to the cakes.
Notes: If you find buckwheat flour too strong for your taste, simply use a greater proportion of white or whole-wheat pastry flour. I also think these pancakes would be extra-nice with a few warm spices added to the batter - I think I'll try a 1/4 teaspoon each of cinnamon and nutmeg and then an 1/8 teaspoon cardamom.
Adapted from Good to the Grain