In the English language, kasha is a term for the pseudocereal buckwheat. In Central and Eastern Europe, especially in Belarus, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Russia, and Ukraine, kasha is a dish made of any kind of grains boiled in water or milk, i.e. a porridge.
The largest gross consumption per capita is in Russia, with 15 kg (33 lb) per year followed by Ukraine, with 12 kg (26 lb) per year. The share of buckwheat in the total consumption of cereals in Russia is 20%.
This English-language usage probably originated with Jewish immigrants, as did the form קאַשי kashi (technically plural, literally translated as "porridges").
The word generally refers to roasted whole-grain buckwheat or buckwheat groats. However, in Slavic Europe, it refers to porridge in general and can be made from buckwheat or any cereal wheat, barley, oats, millet and rye. At least 1,000 years old, kasha is one of the oldest known dishes in Central European and Eastern European cuisine.
In Russian, buckwheat is referred to formally as гречиха (grechikha) and buckwheat grain and buckwheat groats as гречневая крупа (grechnevaya krupa). Informally buckwheat grain and buckwheat groats are called гречка (grechka), and the porridge made from buckwheat groats is known as гречневая каша (grechnevaya kasha). In Polish, buckwheat porridge is referred to as kasza gryczana. Annual (2013) per capita consumption of groats in Poland is approx. 1.56 kg (3.4 lb) per year (130 g (4.6 oz) a month). The Czech cognate kaše (Czech pronunciation: [kaʃɛ] has a wider meaning, also encompassing mashed potato (bramborová kaše), pease pudding (hrachová kaše) etc.