We’re taking a closer look at the very heart and foundation of Grain Traders—our grains. Whether it’s sushi rice, brown rice, quinoa, bulgur wheat, or soba noodles—not forgetting our super greens, though they’re purely leaves—these base ingredients are a food staple for many countries around the world.
Rice is probably the best-known grain. It is the most widely consumed staple food in the world, particularly in Asia. Evidence shows that it originates back to at least 8,000 years ago to Ancient China and its many varieties and uses make it a crucial part of many cuisines. Aside from rice, though, grains like bulgur wheat and quinoa are quite a new grain to many.
Our Executive Chef Gisela shares more.
Which country do the grains at Grain Traders come from?
Our quinoa comes from Peru. Quinoa is a grain typical of South America, especially the Andes region ofPeru and Bolivia. The bulgur wheat we use comes from Australia, even though it is a grain commonly used in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean diets. Our super greens mix is made of kale and spinach, both of which come from Australia.
Why did you choose these five grains and the greens?
The grains were chosen first for their availability in the market, demand, andnutritional value.
Japanese rice was chosen to appeal to our local market—white rice is part of the daily diet of most Asian countries and it was important to include something that would be familiar to our local customers.
In the case of the brown rice, quinoa, and bulgur wheat—these are all grains with a high level of fibre that is very important for our daily diet. We chose these grains to offer our customers a more wholesome option and we also saw it as a chance to educate them about the benefits of different types of grains.
For our green mix, we chose spinach and kale for their great nutritional value. Both are very rich in iron, vitamins, and antioxidants, which helps with our daily diet, and are a good choice for those who are hoping to avoid a post-lunch food coma.
How are these grains cooked? Do you add any other additional ingredients to them while cooking?
We weigh the grains, carefully wash them, and then cook them with water for the necessary time. Each grain has a different dressing but we always try to keep the taste and consistency intact.
For the bulgur wheat we add extra virgin olive oil and coriander. Brown rice is finished off with extra virgin olive oil, while the Japanese rice and quinoa both have a sushi vinegar mix.
Any cooking tips you want to share with someone who want to cook these grains for themselves?
It’s very important to measure and weigh the grains and water. Too much water can overcook the grains but too little water will result in undercooked grains. Also, when the grains are ready, it’s important to move them around and separate them.
Any personal favourites?
It’s dependent on what I’m eating but in most Asian cultures and in some regions in South America and the Caribbean we eat rice in our daily diet. In Venezuela, where I’m from, you will find a plate of long-grain rice on every table, so I normally eat more rice. I’m trying to change that to quinoa, though, because of its multiple health benefits!