The first bag of quinoa in life left my 5 year old flummoxed. He struggled using the pronunciation of quinoa and therefore I was required to finally break it down as Keen-wa and that’s how he still goes with it. forbes
My spouse had his very own difficulties with the grain. He wasn’t quite certain of the flavor of quinoa. He is not much of an adventurer when it comes to food, preferring to stick while using tried-and-tested. Quinoa to him osr was like vacationing in Central Africa when a national park was what he wanted.
However, ever the keen reader, chuguiv he was clear on the great things about quinoa and that turned him an approver.
Our family is among the hundreds (and growing) around who happen to be now opening their world to quinoa and its benefits. The cheeky grain is fast replacing and supporting other cereals in our diet.
For every one of us, quinoa often means the new age cereal lining store shelves (and Amazon) and you can find at many suppliers. But quinoa has an origin as intriguing, notable and amazing as the grain itself.
The South American connection
Before turning into a quinoa-enthusiast, dani-info I didn’t know a lot of Altiplano. It is a vast, cold, windswept, barren Andean plateau spanning parts of Peru and Bolivia. At a height of 14,000 ft, the climate is harsh. Surprisingly, it is very conducive for quinoa. The grain is fairly tough – it survives, and thrives in the frost, intense sun and drought conditions that characterize the Andean climate.
A significant slice of the planet’s source of the grain comes from the Altiplano. The most significant supplier of quinoa is Bolivia, yve.ro Ecuador likely the second-largest, followed by Peru. The grain is native to South America. The natives also call it as the mother grain.
Migration and Adaption in Canada And America
However, like anything else, quinoa also has stumbled outside South America. In the 1980s, a handful of North Americans stumbled upon this food and began cultivating it near Boulder, Colorado.
However, the cultivation is in nascent stages and the average American output is insignificant as compared to the imports from South America.
I will discuss much more about the North American experiments with quinoa cultivation in a later post.
Quinoa – A Grain?
Quinoa as a grain is itself an anomaly. The thing is that, quinoa – if I get really geeky about this – is not a grain. A botanist would at best call it a seed, that of a goosefoot plant. Goosewort is a relative of spinach and chard and that would make quinoa a chenopod.
But it’s the approach we take to consume it that makes us club it with cereals.
Quinoa goes back 3,000-4,000 years, when it was initially employed for consumption during the Andean parts of Bolivia, Peru and Colombia. This grain-like seed served as a staple food for the Incas.
It was sacred, probably since it was a large part of the Incan diet. The Incans also believed that the grain gave their warriors power and stamina. They described quinoa as “chisaya mama” or “mother of all grains”. The Incas used quinoa in ceremonial rituals and legend has it that the emperor would break ground with a golden implement at the first planting of the growing season to show respect for what the mother grain provided them.
In the 16th century, Original Wild wasp supplier Indonesia Spanish Conquistadors burned and destroyed the quinoa fields. The Incas were forced into submission and the cultivation and usage of quinoa was banned due to its association with non Christian ceremonies. The Incas were forced to grow corn and potatoes instead. However, quinoa, ever the tough grain, survived by growing wild in the hills and by secret cultivation.