2013 has been declared International Year of the Quinoa by the United Nations! According to the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) office for Latin America and the Caribbean website, quinoa has been selected for the purpose of “recognizing the Andean indigenous peoples, who have maintained, controlled, protected and preserved quinoa as food for present and future generations thanks to their traditional knowledge and practices of living well in harmony with mother earth and nature”
Quinoa is an extremely nutritious grain, which thrives in a variety of environments. It is rich in protein, iron and fiber, plus gluten free. In fact, quinoa has a balanced set of amino acids, making it a complete protein. The most common types of quinoa are white, black and red. White is the mildest, with a nice nutty flavor. Black and red are both stronger tasting and crunchier, black being the strongest.
FAO Year of the Quinoa logo: “A future sewn for thousands of years” (possibly imperfect translation by yours truly).
Here in Cusco, you can find quinoa being cultivated throughout the Sacred Valley and many other locations. It is commonly used in soups, and on Apus Peru treks our cooks prepare yummy quinoa stir fry and morning porridge.