Aug. 15, 2012 - Issue #878: Snap Turns 30
Six things about quinoa
Quinoa is not a grain. It's a species of goosefoot (Chenopodium), which is a grain-like crop grown primarily for its edible seeds. It's also considered a pseudocereal. As part of the chenopod family, it is most closely related to other such species, such as beets, spinach and tumbleweeds.
Back in the day
Quinoa originated in the Andean region of Ecuador, Bolivia, Colombia and peru. It was domesticated 3000 to 4000 years ago for human consumption.
Not always so super
It's seen as a superfood today, and these roots go all the way back to the Incas, who viewed it as sacred and referred to it as chisaya mama, meaning "mother of all grains." However, the Europeans didn't see it this way and during the European conquest of South America, the Spanish colonists scorned quinoa and actively attempted to suppress its cultivation.
Time to celebrate?
The United Nations have declared 2013 to be the International Year of Quinoa.
Quinoa plants are usually one to two metres high.
The flowers on a quinoa plant are bisexual and self-fertilizing. The fruits are approximately two millimetres in diameter and can be white, red or black depending on the cultivator. V vueweekly.com comments: powered by Disqus
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