Pronunciation is not always a debate over the Southern way and the other way. Sometimes, it’s everyone quickly and quietly saying the name and hoping it’s correct (or no one noticed). Don’t worry about the judgement of others when using these ancient grains with dairy for a culinary creation that will have everyone agreeing.
Honestly, you aren’t really sure what quinoa is, never mind how to pronounce it. There was a box of it with the rice and you were feeling fancy. It’s not a rice named after someone that sounds like Ken Noah, though. Rather, you are supposed to say it like “king-wa,” or the sound you make when you realize your favorite rolls are sold out. Quinoa is essentially a seed that is eaten like a rice and so is classified as a grain, which makes as much sense as its pronunciation. Try it with orange juice, baked almonds, and cranberries in this Cranberry Orange Quinoa or this Ancient Grain Hot Cereal that uses amaranth, which looks like a smaller quinoa.
Another ancient grain is farro, but farro is not about how far you go. Farro, said like “fair oh,” is a wheat with a chewy texture and a slightly nutty flavor. An alternative to quinoa, it looks more similar to a rice than its ancient grain companions above. It’s commonly used in Italian dishes, salads like the New Cobb Salad, soups, and this Mexican Beef Cheese Bake.
Yes, chia, as in “as seen on tv” chia. This one isn’t trying to trick you. You don’t have to pronounce it differently, so don’t let your mind think you do! Though you may accidentally add chai to your grocery list instead, chia seeds are tiny black seeds easily distinguishable from the options above. Chia is used in drinks—another easy way to confuse it with chai—like cold teas and smoothies, but you can also add it to desserts or breakfast like overnight oats or waffles.
Now that you know how to use and say these grains in your culinary creations, say them proudly and loudly. You have new recipes to awe your guests with.