This grain-like seed served as a stapes food in the Incan diet, leading the Incas to call it the “mother grain”. The Incan emperor would break ground with a golden implement at the first planting of the season to show respect for what the pant provided them.
During the European conquest of South America, the Spanish Colonists scorned quinoa as “food for Indians”, going as far as actively suppressing and forbidding its cultivation. Luckily for us the Spanish were not successful and quinoa is flourishing once again, finding its way here to the United States and onto our plates today.
Fast forward to the 1980’s, high in the Colorado rookies, where a pair of Americans who studied spirituality in the Bolivian Andes once more initialized the significant cultivation of quinoa, for the firs time since the fall of the Incan civilization. Soon the United Nations declared this obscure plant to be a “super food”, with a protein value equal to that of milk. NASA even placed it high on its list of possible foods for long duration manned