Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Blame It On Betty White (What Started This Quinoa Kick?)

I have seen quinoa referenced in many vegan cookbooks over the years. I have weighed the purchase at the supermarket against a pound of rice and always I have passed on the more expensive quinoa.

Betty White on SNL and quinoa

This year, like so many others in America, I tuned in to watch Betty White on SNL 5/08/10. During the Delicious Dish segment, Molly Shannon introduced America to quinoa, pronounced KEEN-wah, and my interest was piqued. (at 1:21 minutes)

Certain words with their lesser known, fancy pronunciations have a way of becoming fashionable in our world and at that moment I believed I had stumbled onto a rising quinoa meme.

Sure enough, I found when using this word over the summer that no one of my acquaintance was familiar with the proper pronunciation. I realized I needed to educate a lot of people quickly or risk sounding an insufferable snoot every time I said it.

Quinoa demand on the rise

Reading up on this pseudocereal, I find Indian Country Today reports the price of quinoa has increased 15 fold since the eighties and US quinoa imports more than doubled from 2007 to 2009. I suspect that demand will continue to increase for quinoa in the coming years as more Americans embrace a vegetarian lifestyle.

Of course, none of this would have interested me if Betty White hadn't hosted SNL. I like that she is still one of the trendsetters in my life.

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