Burns My Bacon: Quinoa, The Boss of Grains

Y’know what I’ve be eating a lot of lately? Quinoa. Y’know what tastes like mini packing pellets regardless of how it’s cooked or how much cheese you throw on top of it? QUINOA!

What the F? Why don’t I get it? Is it possible that over the last six weeks on the seven different occasions that I’ve eaten this crap that somehow I’ve been given bad examples of how it is supposed to be prepared? I’ve had it cold, hot and creamy, mixed in salads and served as side and main dishes, and each time I’m like, “Who really likes this shit?”

Why am I the only one who is out of the loop on this? This reminds me of when all my friends were way into Bruce Springsteen. I could never figure out what they were hearing that I couldn’t pick up in his music. I even recently went to a concert and I remember standing there looking around at everyone going apeshit over “Born in the USA”, and I kept thinking, “What is going on? There’s no chorus. It’s just the same flat tune repeated over and over with different words. Why don’t I get this?”

Quinoa is the Bruce Springsteen of food in my world. Lots of people love it, lots of restaurants serve it, and it’s on everyone’s Top Ten list, but I’m still standing there thinking, “Why do you actually like this?” It just doesn’t make any sense to me. Like texting on my iPhone. I hold a device that will allow me to actually TALK to someone almost anywhere in the entire world and yet all my friends want to do is type me abbreviated messages. I can even FaceTime them, which means that I can actually see their faces and they can see mine, and we can communicate visually as well as verbally, and yet all I ever get is “CNT TALK. LOL.” Really? You can’t talk but you have the time to type me a message telling me that? Calling me requires pressing ONE button!

I like couscous so why don’t I like quinoa?  Whenever it’s served to me I always feel that I’m stealing a parakeet’s dinner. And why is it pronounced kin-wah when it’s spelled quin-oh-ah? When I first ordered it the waitress treated me like I was having a stroke, then she just got frustrated: “I’m sorry sir, but I don’t speak Native American.”

Bruce Springsteen looks like the nicest guy in the world but his music is like a dog whistle to me. I know that a lot of people like it but I just don’t get it. Quinoa doesn’t look as nice as Bruce, but just like his music I won’t be dancing when I hear it’s in the room.

You may also like


  • Andrea November 20, 2012  

    I hear you! I’m “on a diet” and trying to eat healthier, but I cannot do this stuff either. BLEH.
    I add cheese and kindof stir fry it with lots of garlic and sauce, I eat it and it tastes okay… it’s the texture, and I feel a little ill afterwards like “what did I just eat?”

  • ML November 20, 2012  

    The ONLY way I like quinoa is hot, mixed with peanut butter and sliced bananas. But even then I’m really just tasting the peanut butter.

  • Emily November 20, 2012  

    Quinoa isn’t technically a grain, it’s a seed, HAVEN’T YOU BEEN READING MY MYRIAD QUINOA ARTICLES HERE ON ES?!

    It’s okay, I will eat all the quinoa you haters leave behind 😛

  • Katt Kasper November 20, 2012  

    Sorry Emily. I’ll leave you all the quinoa if you leave me all the bourbon!

  • Emily November 20, 2012  

    Katt – When it comes to bourbon, I make no promises.

  • gemmi999 November 21, 2012  

    My favorite way to eat Quinoa? I used it instead of noodles with Bolognese sauce and some parmesan cheese. It was actually really good because all I could taste was the excellent sauce but because quinoa has so much protein, it filled me up and kept me full longer on a smaller serving.

  • Andy November 21, 2012  

    I don’t think anybody was exclaiming “welcome to Flavor-town” when talking about quinoa but as an alternative to rice, it’s leaps and bounds beyond. I only really cook it in chicken or beef stock and add whatever stir fry vegetables or peanut sauce or eggs or avocado or anything. Butter it up and it’s hard to really hate. And you can’t beat the protein and nutrients. Compare quinoa to porridge? What is your favorite alternative to quinoa?

  • Katt Kasper November 22, 2012  

    My favorite alternative is ANYTHING ELSE! Quinoa is like serving a sentence for a crime I didn’t commit. I would much rather eat spoon fulls of protein powder and hand fulls of vitamins straight out of the bottle than try to choke down another bite of quinoa. When it comes to eating, I prefer flavor over function so I don’t choose my favorite dishes based on their nutritional values. Cock roaches are chock-full of protein too but hey, cooking them in chicken stock or peanut sauce isn’t winning me over either.

Leave a comment