Quinoa, also known as the "Incas’ gold" shined in the 2nd Peruvian Gastronomic Festival hosted by the Consulate General of Peru in Zurich (Switzerland) on July 3-5.
Famous chef Adolfo Perret participated in the festival delighting attendees with amazing dishes, such as vegetarian quinoto (risotto made with quinoa), quinoa ceviche and the dessert known as ‘quinoa zambito’. Visitors also tasted the "quinoa sour" drink.
During the festival opening, current Consul General of Peru to Switzerland Ricardo Morote affirmed "in the past, the Andean region provided potato to the world, in order to mitigate hunger […] now, it offers quinoa to face famine and undernutrition. This is a contribution Peru makes to the world."
It should be noted 2013 was declared the “International Year of Quinoa.” At the time, the Andean grain was considered the "food of the future."
"According to figures issued by the Ministry of Agriculture, Peru has become the top quinoa producer in the world. That's why this "superfood" is present in the poorest households, as well as in the world’s haute cuisine," the Consul General told.
Adolfo Perret said his participation in this festival is part of the gastronomic proposal submitted by Peruvian chefs in the framework of Expo Milano 2015, held in Milan (Italy).
According to the cook, chefs "must" promote the consumption of original products, such as: quinoa, kiwicha, cañihua, potato and pisco.
Quinoa, considered the "Golden Grain", comprises essential nutritional components. Besides, it is one of the most emblematic products of our gastronomy and biodiversity, he said.
"In the framework filled with climate change, quinoa has been baptized as superfood given its high nutritional richness [...] and because it grows at different altitudes (at sea level and high altitudes)," Sandra Massieu, the President of the Association of Peruvian Ladies in Switzerland told.
The association also organized a cooking master class led by chef Perret. The collected funds were addressed to social causes.
This festival, which gathered Peruvian and Swiss businessmen, was supported by PromPeru (Peru’s Export and Tourism Promotion Board) and Sierra Exportadora (organism attached to Peru's Agriculture and Irrigation Ministry). Likewise, it also represents a new way to show Peruvian richness, such as its diversified and delicious gastronomy.
In 2014, the country produced a total 114,343 tonnes of quinoa. Of those, 35,440 tonnes worth US$200 million were exported.
Therefore, Peru became the world's top quinoa producer.