The white one is usually grown in several areas of Cao Bang. Meanwhile in Ha Giang, people often plant the purple buckwheat flower.
It is said that this tiny flower forest with green leaves once saved a whole village from a severe famine that occurred when the old harvest season had been over way before the new one had arrived.
According to the legend, in the past, the people in the Northern mountainous region lived mainly on rice and corn. One year, the food ran out and the land had become barren, and the local people had to wander in search of food. Then, a strange yet pleasant fragrance filled the atmosphere and attracted the peasants to follow the ravine. Among the rocks, they discovered small white pink flowers whose nuts tasted as subtle as rice and corn. Since then, the Hmong have used the buckwheat flowers’ nuts as staples like maize and rice. The buckwheat flower then became an essential part of their daily lives.
Buckwheat is often considered as a tasty and healthier alternative to wheat. When harvested, the crops can be ground into flour and many parts of the world do this, such as India, Japan and Korea. Rice, porridge, noodles, breads, pancakes, cookies, cakes, can all be made from buckwheat flour. The young buckwheat flower stem can also be boiled and used as vegetables, or it can be cooked with wine and corn to brew a very unique type of wine. It also has medicinal benefits and is sometimes used as trunk for cattle feed.
The flowers of the buckwheat plant have a pleasant fragrance and tastes quite malty and earthy. The flowers are used for manufacturing a dark brown-colored honey that is quite strong in flavor.