Ancient Grains – Here since the beginning

Ancient Grains are a grouping of grain and certain cereals that have been around for millennia and have remained relatively unchanged throughout time. The select group of Ancient Grains listed below are a foundational ingredient of several Sesmark crackers.

Origins: Central & South America.
The Aztecs cultivated Amaranth as a staple grain crop and was used as an integral part of their religious ceremonies. This tiny grain resembles fine couscous and has a nutty, sometimes peppery flavor. Called a “super food” by the ancient Aztecs, Amaranth was fed to runners and warriors because of its reputation for providing bursts of energy and improving athletic performance.

Origins: Central America.
There is evidence that the Chia seed was widely cultivated by the Aztecs in pre-Columbian times, and economic historians say it may have been as important food crop as maize. These historians have placed chia as the third-most desired crop in the Aztec culture, behind only corn and beans.

Origins: Northern Africa & Asia.
Millet is a small-grained, annual, warm-weather cereal belonging to the grass family. Highly tolerant of drought and other extreme weather conditions, Millet has a similar nutrient content to other major cereals. Millet is tasty, with a mildly sweet, nut-like flavor and is more nutritious compared to rice and wheat cereals.

Origins: Africa & India.
The historic origin of sesame was favored by its ability to grow in areas that do not support the growth of other crops. It is also a robust crop that needs little farming support – it grows in drought conditions, in high heat, with residual moisture in soil after monsoons are gone or even when rains are excessive. Sesame has been called a savior crop.

Origins: Eastern Africa.
Sorghum is a dietary staple of more than 500 million people. It is the fifth most important cereal crop worldwide, thanks to its versatility and drought resistance. Most varieties are drought and heat tolerant, and are highly valued in arid regions, where the grain is a staple in most rural diets. It can be grown in numerous climates, endures hot and dry conditions, and withstands high levels of rainfall.

QUINOA (keen-wa) & RED QUINOA.
Origin: Andrea region of South America.
Quinoa was first domesticated by the Andean peoples around 3,000 to 4,000 years ago. While the Incas called it the “mother of all grains”, Quinoa is actually an edible seed that’s related to beets, chard and spinach. The fruits (seeds) come in various colors – from white to red to black depending on how they are cultivated. White quinoa is the most common as it has a light flavor that will not overpower other ingredients in a recipe. Red quinoa has a heavier texture compared to white and has a more prominent flavor that is often described as “nutty”.