, 2022-09-15 16:44:45,
Photo by Maitane Romagosa from Thrillist
Despite the fact that they were first introduced to the world in 3500 BC, chia seeds became “trendy” around 2012. Wellness blogs everywhere touted the ancient superfood for its innumerable health benefits, and we found a way to sneak them into just about any recipe that could do with a little more fiber. But if you read the back of an average pouch, it was likely the brand had zero connection to the seed’s Aztec and Mayan origins.
Luckily things are changing, and we’re starting to see more and more members of the Latinx community take ownership of the superfoods that have long-fueled their cultures—from chocho and nopales to quinoa, and amaranth. Take, for example, The Pinole Project, a family-run oatmeal brand specializing in the Aztec superfood that is pinole, a ground heirloom corn sourced from Oaxaca, Mexico.
The Mexican-American Jacquez family founded The Pinole Project to honor their grandmother, Adela, who would add pinole to many of her dishes—specifically avena, or slow-cooked oatmeal. “Adela had a lot on her plate and looked to high-quality food to help push through her physically and mentally exhausting days raising a family and working on her and my grandfather’s humble ranch in Chihuahua, Mexico,” says Bella Jacquez, head of marketing for The Pinole Project.
Pinole offers sustained, plant-based energy, with high levels of fiber and protein. “It has a low glycemic index and is a complex carbohydrate, so it’s digested slowly, providing slow-burning energy which keeps you full for longer,” Jacquez says. That also means no spike or crash. “Many of our customers comment that they’ll eat a serving before or after an intense workout and will feel full for hours.”
It’s no wonder that pinole is a popular food among the Tarahumara, an indigenous community residing in the Sierra Madre region of Chihuahua. They’re renowned for their long-distance running ability, calling themselves the Rarámuri, which, in their native language, means “light feet” or “runners on foot.”
Jacquez’s grandfather, Arsenio, learned the language of the Tarahumana as a young child, and over the course of his 85 years of life, developed lasting bonds with them. “He used to go to the mountains with his father to trade with the Tarahumara, often serving as an interpreter,” Jacquez explains. “My grandparents would welcome Tarahumara into their home to…
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