[Weekly Pairings] 'Portlandia​' and Quinoa


Like many other things that come out of Portland, Oregon, Portlandia requires a refined taste and sense of self-restraint to fully enjoy. The best pairing for this show is undoubtedly quinoa, which is like rice for people who hate themselves.

As with acupuncture, tech start-ups and food cleanse diets, quinoa gets a lot of press coverage without anyone really understanding how it works.

In 2014, many stories were published about the impact that the West’s appetite for quinoa has had on the countries that grow it. Experts have said that you should never buy it again or you’ll be pulling food out of the mouth of a Bolivian farmer. Others say that not buying quinoa will cause those same farmers to fail and losetheir farms.  

This makes quinoa the perfect food to watch Portlandia with. No matter what side of the debate you’re on, you may wind up in an argument. And it is extremely unlikely that anyone in that argument will be able to locate Bolivia on a map.

There are some politically neutral sides to quinoa: It is high in protein and relatively low in carbs for a grain, so it is healthy. Quinoa is about as easy to cook as rice, so it’s simple to prepare, too.

If you find that there’s not quite enough flavor to quinoa to interest you, try adding a little oomph to it. Try mixing in some goat cheese or top it with some fair-trade organic free-range non-GMO chicken cutlets. Once you’re done, you and your Portlandia-viewing club can clink your microbrews together, sink into your cruelty-free, eco-friendly sofa and sit down to watch some life-positive comedy.