Quinoa: Charming Botanical Stranger With a Funky Name

Q is a tough prompt, but I learned a bunch of fun facts about this interesting “complete food.”  Some of these are from Wikipedia, which is full of fun facts in its own way.

  1. First off — it’s pronounced “keen- wa.”  Although I always want to rhyme it with “Winona” (as in Winona Ryder) when I see it in print.
  2. Quinoa is a chenopod, and a closer botanical relative of beets and spinach than wheat.
  3. It is 15% protein, and chock full of amino acids, magnesium and calcium.  And it is gluten free.
  4. Some Bolivian quinoa was deemed kosher for Passover after it was determined that it was grown far enough away from wheat to be free of leavening contaminants.
  5. 2013 was the International Year of Quinoa — so proclaimed the UN General Assembly — in recognition of the people of the Andes who have been cultivating quinoa for centuries and with practices to ensure its production for future generations.
  6. You can choose from “creamy” or “crunchy” options when preparing your quinoa depending on how much water you use and how vigorously you boil it.  Do not be intimidated by its beige-y coloring — it is a little bit chewy and a little bit crunchy.  I think of it as the hipster love-child of brown rice and oatmeal.

I’d like to wish all Nap followers a joyous Easter and Passover.  This past winter was really tough on us in the US so these holidays feel even more precious when we can feel the sun on our pasty, wan faces.


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