EN on Foods

March 2010 Issue

Quinoa, Nutritious Mother Grain of the Incas

Known in the Inca language as the "mother grain," quinoa (keen-wah) sustained the people of the Andes mountains of Bolivia, Chile and Peru for the past 5,000 years. This nutritious seed was highly regarded in Incan culture, and was believed to provide stamina to warriors. During the European conquest of South America, Spanish colonists squelched quinoa cultivation because of its sacred status in a non-Christian society, but this super-grain was not suppressed for long. While it was essentially unheard of in the U.S. a couple of decades ago, the popularity of this ancient grain is gaining momentum.

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