Food & DrinksIngredientsPeruvian FoodTraditional Food

Quinoa is a super nutritious food of the Andes

Quinoa is a super nutritious food for all ages, in the Cusco region quinoa is presented in different traditional dishes, desserts and breakfasts. Its protein quality is almost equal to milk, it is highly nutritional for the human body, its flavor and texture, it is soft, delicate and delicious for the palate.

Quinoa is an herb that belongs to the Chenopodioideae subfamily of the Amararantaceae, its high nutritional value comes from its seed and is classified as a whole grain. Its plant normally reaches a height of 1 to 3 m, its leaves are polymorphic and wide, the stem is often branched, everything depends on the variety and the density of its sowing.

Its cultivation dates back about 5,000 years and is produced throughout the Andes mountain range, the producing countries are Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, Ecuador, Chile and Colombia, now its cultivation is spreading in various countries in Asia and Europe, the world Whole grain is recognized as a very important food for the development of the human body.

Granos de la mejor calidad de quinua (foto: Walter Coraza)

This grain was one of the main foods of the pre-Inca and Inca Andean peoples, today it has become so important that many families and landladies in the traditional markets of Cusco prepare it as a replacement instead of grained rice.

When I go shopping at a traditional market in Cusco, I cannot resist trying the quinoa soups, this hot and delicious dish is typical of the high Andean areas of Peru, it is a mixture of vegetables, broth, gently boiled quinoa and spiced with oregano, cumin and coriander. Its flavor is comforting and nutritious for the body, tasting this soup is like eating a great feast, it keeps you with enough energy during the day to day.

Quinoa is so important that it is used in different ways, in recipes for energy bars, soups, main dishes, breakfasts and even beer or chicha is prepared, with quinoa flour, you can also prepare desserts, ice cream, breads, cakes and biscuits.

In Cusco there is a traditional dish apart from the quinoa soup, it is the “Pesq’e de quinua”, which is prepared with cow’s milk, quinoa and cheese, it is accompanied with a fried egg or churrasco pieces of meat.

For the preparation of any food based on quinoa, the toxin that “Saponin” has must first be eliminated, this toxin gives it a characteristic bitter taste, and it can only be eliminated by peeling and washing the seeds in plenty of water. .

Quinoa is a mother grain and is part of various ceremonies and rituals in the Andes, the Andean teachers consider it as an energy abundance and offer to Mother Earth asking for an abundance of food.

In 2013 this food was declared by the United Nations General Assembly, as the international year of quinoa, in recognition of its high nutritional and protein value, also for the ancestral practices of the Andean peoples, who have preserved quinoa as food for present and future generations.

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