This is a story about how an Incan super crop is starting to take over health food stores and trendy restaurants in the U.S. The rest of the world is already on board with this mysterious super plant; we’re just now catching up.
What’s so great about this plant? Well, it doesn’t rot, doesn’t need refrigeration, is a complete protein but is dairy and gluten free, and is rich in important vitamins like iron, magnesium, and riboflavin. It’s easy to cook and also very affordable.
So what’s the name of this super crop? Quinoa is a grain from South America that was once cultivated by the Incas. It’s been around in the U.S. for 20 years, but has only very recently started to gain momentum among professional chefs.
That momentum, however, has started to reach terminal velocity. Quinoa is very versatile from a cook’s perspective, and its ability to absorb the spices with which it’s cooked means it can be prepared in an infinite number of ways.
Give a chef an opportunity to get creative with a new ingredient that’s hearty and healthy, and you won’t need a second explanation. That’s precisely why quinoa has started popping up in restaurants across the country.
Quinoa is available in white, red, and black varieties and also comes in flour and cereal form. I guess it’s not called a super crop for nothing.