Quinoa Evolution

I lived through the whole era of oat bran in everything from potato chips to beer. So I guess I should not be surprised to see the latest super-food popping up in odd places. And that would be quinoa, the grain of the moment. The other day we spotted it on the label of a bar of chocolate and had to try it, only to learn it added nothing of interest, not even a Rice Krispies-like crunch. For the price, we could have had two healthful Lindt bars with sea salt. The second sighting/tasting was actually quite good. An editor took me to lunch last week and, being a powerful regular, was comped a side order of quinoa hush puppies by the chef. The grain was a slightly nubblier alternative to the usual cornmeal. I’m always a sucker for lowercase hush puppies, so I do approve the concept. But there was something amusing about a deep-fried health food designed to be dunked in spicy mayonnaise. Then again, the menu also had a “French fry salad.” Salty potatoes always make the best greens.

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