An Ancient Grain Packed With Nutrition and History | Blanco Niño

An Ancient Grain Packed With Nutrition and History

Earthy and slightly sweet, our new Ancient Grain tortilla chips are made with Amaranth and Blue Corn. These ancient grains are packed with nutrition, flavour and have a fascinating history.

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The Story of Amaranth

Amaranth played a pivotal role in the life of an Aztec. It was both a staple in their diets and a key element of cultural ceremonies and practices. Used in worshipping, the Aztecs built statues of their deities made from amaranth and distributed them for eating. It was this practice that caused the Spanish conquistadors to ban amaranth when they arrived to enforce Christianity on the pagan natives. Amaranth fields were burned and cultivators were punished. Time for some unknown heroes to step in. Due to the efforts of a small number of farmers who secretly kept the grain growing, it survived, and now we all get to share in its tale. 

Remarkably, the Amaranth plant gets its name from a Greek word meaning “the never-fading” or “one that does not wither.” Hearing of its past and perseverance, it is safe to say that Amaranth lives true to its name.

Even after its harvest, when most other plants wither, Amaranth still luminates in gold, red and green. Even after the attempts to have it destroyed by Spanish conquistadors, Amaranth survived and has never faded out. Luckily for us, it didn’t and now we get to proudly use it in our Ancient Grain tortilla chips.

Where we source our Amaranth plus the benefits of Blue Corn

Our founder Phil sources our Amaranth from a little place called Milpa Alta just outside Mexico City. There we work with heritage farmers who have been growing amaranth for generations on a farm that overlooks Lake Texcoco. They hold a huge amount of pride and honour around the work that they do. When we hear about Amaranth’s history, we can understand why they value it so much. Their level of passion and dedication is something that we seek in the producers we work with. 

The base of our Ancient Grain tortilla chips is made using blue corn. Not only does blue corn give our Ancient Grain tortilla chips their distinguished dark blue colour, they also contain roughly 20-30% more protein and 5-10% less starch than their yellow corn compadres. Best used to dunk into a lovely big bowl of salsa or guacamole, they are very hard to resist and extremely moreish.

When you try our new Ancient Grain tortilla chips, take a moment to think about all the generations gone before, whose efforts have saved a grain that was once worshipped, then banned, before it’s rescue and re-emergence into today’s diet.