For this week's country challenge, I decided to go back to South America. When I was researching recipes for Argentina, I found many for Bolivia as well. What struck me most were the number of recipes using Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah), a grain native from the Andes. The Incas spread the use of Quinoa all over South America. Quinoa is naturally bitter, and must be rinsed many times. It declined in popularity in the nineteenth centry due to widespread belief that it was killing pigs owned by peasants. They stopped growing it, and it almost disappeared.
Recently, I have seen quinoa appear in many cooking magazines and shows because of it's health benefits. The dishes I have chosen for Bolivia all use quinoa in one form or another, showing it's versatility.
For information about the history and culture of Bolivia, go here.
PSA: I was watching the Today Show this morning, and it's where in the world is Matt Laer week. He was in Buenos Aries, Argentina this morning. There were a few segments about the culture and cusine, and of course, Dulce de Leche and Empanadas were shown and tasted! If you'd like to make these yourself at home, click on them and it will take you to the recipes I made for Argentina week!