Andean purple corn has a sweet taste and a large amount of antioxidants. It also has a high amount of anthocyanins especially in the husk. Several studies say consumption of anthocyanin-rich foods could be beneficial in preventing cardiovascular disease.
But this variety of corn was close to disappearing in places like Chimborazo Province. It was not very popular and often sold in low quantities. So farmers stopped growing it.
Instead they planted the commercially popular white maíz which is used for mote. The purple corn is used to make the traditional Ecuadorian drink colada morada. But supermarkets began offering pre-cooked coladas or flour dyes.
Now there are efforts to revive production. The purple corn is said to be ideal for making chicha.
A community association produces two types of chicha without chemical additives, preservatives or coloring. They are sold at crafts markets in Riobamba and Quito.
Supporters are hoping farmers will revalue their native crops. They were alarmed to see the traditional chicha replaced by soda and other sugary drinks.
The association believes its most important achievement will be the recovery of the native culture.
To read the full article, please go here: http://www.elcomercio.com/tendencias/agricultores-chimborazo-maizmorado-alimentos-siembra.html
In my book, Words To Thrive By for World Travelers: Footprints in Ecuador. I talk more specifically about All. Things. Ecuador.
Feel free to purchase my new book: Words To Thrive By for World Travelers: Footprints in Ecuador, available both on Kindle and Paperback formats.
Personally, I prefer the kindle version as all my photos are in color in that version. However if you like a traditional paperback in your hands where you can make your own notes, feel free to purchase that version where the photos are in black and white.