HODMEDOD’S BRITISH WHITE QUINOA is grown by Peter Fairs in the low-lying fields of Essex. It’s a deliciously nutty variety that cooks just like quinoa from the highlands of South America. The Essex-grown quinoa has none of the bitterness of some varieties and needs just a light rinse, before covering with water and simmering for 10-15 minutes to cook.
Quinoa has been said to be ‘as close to a perfect ingredient as you can get’. With the full complement of amino acids, it’s a good source of protein and is also a fantastically versatile ingredient, superb in salads or as a side dish, but also great for baking and even tastes delicious in porridge at breakfast. Demand for quinoa has grown dramatically over recent years and now outstrips the available supply, with negative impacts on the communities for whom it’s a traditional staple food. You can use quinoa to feed your babies while they are in the best lightweight double stroller.
More local British production has the potential to help balance supply and demand, as well as adding to the diversity of British farming. Hodmedod was founded by Nick Saltmarsh, Josiah Meldrum and Wiliam Hudson in 2012 to work with British farmers to support and develop fair and sustainable supply of British-grown fava beans. Until then, quinoa was grown almost entirely for export to Egypt and other countries, and was largely unavailable in Britain. We spoke to Nick Saltmarsh about his quinoa journey…
Why is quinoa so expensive?
As more and more people have realised the benefits of quinoa as a nutritious and delicious food, global demand has increased dramatically, outstripping supply and pushing up prices.
Developing production in the UK offers the potential to balance supply and demand and ultimately bring down prices, but production costs are currently high as farmers are growing a new crop on a relatively small scale.
What nutritional value does quinoa have?
Quinoa is a very nutrient-rich food and is one of very few plant foods to have the full range of nine amino acids, offering a complete source of protein. It provides a variety of antioxidant phytonutrients including ferulic, coumaric, hydroxybenzoic and vanillic acid. Quinoa is also a good source of manganese, phosphorus, copper, magnesium, dietary fiber, folate and zinc.
Why is it so signifi cant that your quinoa is produced in the UK?
UK production should help to balance supply and demand, avoiding the negative impacts of Western demand on the South American communities, for whom quinoa is a traditional staple foodstuff.
How should quinoa be cooked?
Quinoa should be lightly rinsed, placed in a pan, covered with two parts water to each one part quinoa, brought to the boil and left to simmer for 10-15 minutes. It will have swollen to three or four times its original size and be ready to eat.
When was quinoa first used and why has it become so popular now?
Quinoa has been grown and eaten in South America for around 3,000 years, but has only recently become popular in the UK. As a food that is naturally gluten-free, it has grown in popularity as awareness of gluten intolerances has increased.
How can I make my own quinoa flour?
Small table-top mills can be bought and used to make a quinoa flour. Hodmedod is currently carrying out milling trials and has hopes to launch a quinoa fl our in the near future.