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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Quinoa \Qui*no"a\, n. The seeds of a kind of goosewort ( Chenopodium Quinoa), used in Chili and Peru for making porridge or cakes; also, food thus made.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1620s, from Spanish spelling of Quechua kinua.


n. 1 A goosefoot, (taxlink Chenopodium quinoa species noshow=1), native to the Andes and cultivated for its edible seeds. 2 The high-protein dried fruits and seeds of this plant, used as a food staple and ground into flour.


Quinoa (, from Quechua or ) is a species of the goosefoot genus (Chenopodium quinoa), a grain crop grown primarily for its edible seeds. It is a pseudocereal, similar in some respects to buckwheat, rather than a true cereal, as it is not a member of the true grass family. As a chenopod, quinoa is closely related to species such as beetroots, spinach and tumbleweeds. As a member of the Amaranthaceae family, it is related to and resembles amaranth, which is also a pseudocereal. After harvest, the seeds must be processed to remove the coating containing the bitter-tasting saponins. The seeds are in general cooked the same way as rice and can be used in a wide range of dishes. The leaves are eaten as a leaf vegetable, much like amaranth, but commercial availability of quinoa greens is limited.

The nutrient composition is favourable compared with common cereals. Quinoa seeds contain essential amino acids like lysine and acceptable quantities of calcium, phosphorus, and iron. It is high in protein, and is tolerant of dry soil. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) declared 2013 to be the International Year of Quinoa. Chenopodium formosanum is a Taiwanese variant of Red quinoa that is endemic to Taiwan, and is widely grown in Eastern and Southern Taiwanese Aboriginal cultures.

Quinoa originated in the Andean region of Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia and Chile, and was domesticated 3,000 to 4,000 years ago for human consumption in the Lake Titicaca basin, though archaeological evidence shows a non-domesticated association with pastoral herding some 5,200 to 7,000 years ago.

Similar Chenopodium species, such as pitseed goosefoot ( Chenopodium berlandieri) and fat hen ( Chenopodium album), were grown and domesticated in North America as part of the Eastern Agricultural Complex before maize agriculture became popular. Fat hen, which has a widespread distribution in the Northern Hemisphere, produces edible seeds and greens much like quinoa, but in smaller quantities.

Quinoa (album)

Quinoa is the forty-sixth album by the German band Tangerine Dream.

Quinoa (disambiguation)

Quinoa is a grain-like crop from South America.

Quinoa may also refer to:

  • Quinoa (album), a 1992 album by Tangerine Dream

Usage examples of "quinoa".

She thought about all the different types of bread that might be in those sandwiches -- quinoa, winter wheat, sprouted rye -- and the fillings -- potted cuy, chlorella paste, maybe even real chicken, or freeze-dried ham imported from Earth.

Choose barley, bran, brown rice, bulgur, couscous, millet, oats, polenta, or quinoa as a cooked cereal or grain with your dinner.

Whole grains, including cooked cereals and breads made from barley, oats, buckwheat, rice, rye, quinoa, spelt, wheat, and corn.

Add the garlic, onion, and tomatoes to the quinoa and continue to cook on low for another 10 minutes.

Maize, tobacco, quinoa, and the mandico plants have been cultivated so long that their wild originals have quite disappeared.

She sighed, and I tried to picture her scooping quinoa from a bin, standing next to her Adonis.

We must not forget the summer gardens in the high forest where any Andean crops such as quinoa and potatoes would thrive.

And a wide plowed meadow where fields of grainlike quinoa alternated with rows of corn, chili pepper plants, beans, and squash.

Less well known are Africa's combination of sorghum, African rice, and pearl millet with cowpeas and groundnuts, and the Andes' combination of the noncereal grain quinoa with several bean species.

Less well known are Africa’s combination of sorghum, African rice, and pearl millet with cowpeas and groundnuts, and the Andes’ combination of the noncereal grain quinoa with several bean species.