Where are the Andes again? What exactly is quinoa and what does it all have to do with my baby? The answer is simple: as a Peruvian origin start-up based in Europe, our origins are important to us. That is why we not only use the best certified organic ingredients in our baby food, but also want to help pass on some of our culture to you:
Quinoa originally comes from the Andes Mountain range, which is located in the west of South America. The Andes stretch from Venezuela in the north through Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Argentina to Chile.
Quinoa (pronounced kiˈnoːa) is a so-called pseudo-cereal from the goosefoot genus in the foxtail family (Amaranthaceae). In the Andes, quinoa has been known as a cultivated plant for over 5000 years. The Spanish conquistadors initially considered quinoa to be the devil’s food, a poor man’s food of no great importance. But they were very much mistaken.
The people of the Andes region, on the other hand, were aware of the treasure they possessed, and so they prepared an incredibly nutritious porridge from quinoa thousands of years ago. This is also the case with the traditional pesque (quinoa and cheese pudding): the white-yellow quinoa porridge comes out of the pot hot and is refined with a little cold milk and grated cheese. Pesque is for children in Peru and Bolivia what German children eat as semolina porridge. Traditionally, it is served on the high plateau of South America as a nutritious breakfast or simple lunch.
Harvesting the up to two-metre tall quinoa stalks with their dense panicles full of seeds was traditionally done by hand. Quinoa needs little water and grows best at altitudes above 3000 metres above sea level. There are three varieties of quinoa, white, red or black, and it was already sacred to the ancient Incas. The Aymara and Quechua in Peru and Bolivia grew the grain as a nutrient-rich staple food or sold only small quantities at local markets.
Quinoa was therefore practically unknown in Europe until a few decades ago. It was not until the 1990s, when the US space agency NASA discovered the grain as astronaut food, that its true value was investigated. Today, quinoa has developed from an unknown niche product to an international superfood. It contains a multitude of nutrients, especially a lot of protein, magnesium and phosphorus and protein. Consumers also appreciate that quinoa is gluten-free and rich in fibre.
That is why all Little Inca baby food products are based on quinoa, a gift from the Andes to the world.
You can find more information about our products here: https://littleinca.com/the-range/