14 April, 2014
Why is Quinoa so Popular? My Tour To Peru
On our recent tour to Peru I had the best vegetable cheese quinoa soup. As I traveled from Cusco along the Urubamba river and through the Sacred Valley on the way to Machu Picchu, every buffet and every menu in every restaurant offered at least one quinoa dish. When I got home I decided to research quinoa and the Peruvian people to find out why it is so popular.
The use of quinoa dates back 5000 years and was a staple of the Incan diet. In fact the Incan's called it "chesiya mama" the mother grain. At the solstice, Inca priests bearing golden vessels filled with quinoa made offerings to Inti, the sun. After the European conquest the growth of quinoa was suppressed because of the religious significance to the Incas. Despite European supression, Incans continued to grow it in small amounts and today the popularity of quinoa has spread through out the world.
Quinoa is rates a "super food"
Nutritional quality of Quinoa is comparable to dried milk (FAQ, Food and Agricultural Organization) and is a source of complete protein. It is widely used to make flour, soup, breakfast cereal, and even alcohol.
Quinoa is gluten free.
A perfect food for anyone afflicted by wheat allergies, easily digestible, and a perfect base for vegetarian dishes. Quick cooking, it holds well, and blends nicely with a wide variety of ingredients
The Popularity of Quinoa not all good
In an article http://www.democratandchronicle.com/ the author indicates that the surge in popularity of quinoa has made farming it far more profitable than it had been in the past, meaning a far better standard of living for quinoa farming families and their communities. However, some media reports say, this windfall comes with mixed blessings.
Higher prices have made the food more expensive to natives, and the pressure to ramp up production and acreage means means other types of beneficial farming such as llama livestock, which fertilize the soils where quinoa grows, have been abandoned to ride the quinoa wave.
It was on the table for all our meals on My Tour To Peru and now want to make quinoa a staple at our family table in Santa Rosa, California.
Do you have a favorite quinoa receipt that you can share with me?
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