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Pizza Talk, Episode 10: Is Buckwheat the Next New Thing? A Conversation with Karen Getz, of Maine Crisp

Written By Peter Reinhart
Thursday, 21 October 2021 Pizza Talk

Pizza Talk (and our “Mother House,” Pizza Quest), has always been about more than pizza. It’s really a celebration of artisanship and the search for meaningfulness wherever we find it. We’ve all seen how the worlds of bread and pizza, in which I spend a lot of my life, have opened to new depths of discovery as the makers of these products made deeper and deeper dives into their possibilities. In the International Symposium on Bread that I host for Johnson & Wales University, we are always asking our speakers, “What should bread bakers be thinking about five years from now,” or, in other words, what’s going to be the next new thing?

I met Karen Getz about five years ago at the Kneading Conference in Skowhegan, Maine, where she showed me a product she was developing using a specific type of buckwheat grown in Maine. The product was a gluten-free crisp bread, kind of like a sweet and savory melba toast cracker, made exclusively from buckwheat, and it was delicious. A few months ago, Karen and I reconnected and I discovered just how far her company has come, as Maine Crisp is beginning its march across the country. I’ve long suspected that buckwheat was the least appreciated of the ancient grains that folks have been obsessing about (sorry quinoa and amaranth and einkorn), perhaps because it is fairly easy to grow or. maybe, because no one has found a way to evoke its full deliciousness in an everyday product (though “kasha and bowties” has always done the trick for me). Whatever the reason, I think the time has come for buckwheat and I think Maine Crisp is the harbinger of what could (and should) be a very important buckwheat moment.

In this episode you will meet Karen and learn a lot more about buckwheat than you ever knew, and what it takes to launch a visionary product company, and most importantly, how wonderful these crisps are (yes, I’ll be tasting as we talk). Remember, if you never heard about or tasted a Maine Crisp , you heard about it here first!

Pizza Quest Info


Vision Statement

Pizza Quest is a site dedicated to the exploration of artisanship in all forms, wherever we find it, but especially through the literal and metaphorical image of pizza. As we share our own quest for the perfect pizza we invite all of you to join us and share your journeys too. We have discovered that you never know what engaging roads and side paths will reveal themselves on this quest, but we do know that there are many kindred spirits out there, passionate artisans, doing all sorts of amazing things. These are the stories we want to discover, and we invite you to jump on the proverbial bus and join us on this, our never ending pizza quest.

Peter’s Books

American Pie
Artisan Breads Every Day
The Bread Bakers Apprentice
Brother Junipers Bread Book
Crust and Crumb
Whole Grain Breads

...and other books by Peter Reinhart, available on