The Wheat that Puts You in the Driver's Seat (at breakfast time at least.)

Now that I am in Watertown's Little Armenia I am rediscovering a host of foodstuffs that I haven't seen (or used) since I lived in London and was a frequenter of the Middle Eastern groceries of Edgware Rd. In addition, the fact that I am job seeking means that I am inclined to be both creative and frugal...which is why I am currently having a torrid affair with Bulgar Wheat.

what is Bulgar Wheat? According to the people at Purcell Mountain farms (http://www.purcellmountainfarms.com/)

"Bulgar is man's oldest recorded use of wheat. Bulgur is made by soaking and cooking the whole wheat kernel, drying it and then removing part of the bran and cracking the remaining kernel into small pieces."

That's right. You can soak it for about 45 minutes in some warmish water and you are good to go. But once it's soaked...what do you do with these little tan and white butterflies of grain?

One ingredient, a thousand uses. With a light malty flavour, Bulgar added to tomato salad with some harissa (a bright red chilli and carrot paste that packs a whallop) and oil makes a great punctuation in texture, but my latest discovery in using this delightfully versatile stuff is it's use as a breakfast cereal...a great alternative to oatmeal AND packaged cereal that contains all of the whole grain stuff, can be eaten hot or cold and is extremely low in cost. Plus, and perhaps most importantly, it's yummy as hell.

So far I have been hooked on two ways of eating this high powered little grain in the morning: The first involves taking the presoaked bulgar mixing in a handful of golden or green raisins (the latter being available at most middle eastern groceries)and covering everything with cold milk or soymilk until only the little heads of the sweet golden raisins can be seen.

The other option that I have come upon is to add a teaspoon of sinfully dark molasses to the wheat and then repeat the operation as regards milk until you end up with a coffee coloured and bitterweet liquid for the bulgar to swim about in.

This whole bulgar idea is perfect for people who love oatmeal but don't want a hot breakfast in the summer months. It's pretty filling stuff too, although not heavy, so a little bowl will do 'ya, in most cases.

No added salt, sugar or preservatives. You know exactly what's going in there...to quote a vehicular marketing ploy...it "puts you in the driver's seat".

And with fewer emissions too.

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