After a debut Sunday, December 18 at LA’s Smorgasburg, Chef Jeremiah’s newest concept, Kiwicha, will be “popping like corn,” he says, in Miami sometime in the spring.
“Despite what it sounds like, Kiwicha doesn’t involve kiwi and it’s not something you yell out after a high kick,” Jeremiah clarifies. Turns out, Kiwicha is named for an ancient Peruvian superfood and presents a new approach to quick, simple, healthy eating.
The Peruvian kiwicha seed, also known as amaranth, comes from a plant with broad green leaves and purple, red and gold seed heads. This striking flora was widely cultivated by the Aztecs, Incas and other pre-Columbian peoples. Similar in size to poppy seeds, kiwicha seeds are harvested and used as a grain that can be popped like popcorn, ground into flour or boiled for porridge.
“In much the same way that quinoa made its way from hippy markets to your mom’s pantry,” Jeremiah says he “believes that kiwicha is primed for adoption by those who appreciate organic, local, sustainable ingredients and people with alternative dietary needs.”
The possibilities for this incredible superfood are endless, he explains, saying it can be used in flatbreads, crisps, patties, even juices. Combine it with wheat flour and you can bake it into leavened bread that doesn’t elevate blood glucose nearly as much as wheat or rice flour. You can even boil the leaves for a few minutes and add them to vegetarian dishes, for an iron and calcium-rich supplement similar to spinach. Kiwicha/amaranth has been shown to have other health benefits, like lowering blood cholesterol, improving blood lipids and stimulating immunity in people with heart disease.
“The Kiwicha menu promises to be fresh, innovative and delicious (and fast!). The lunch box will include seven grains cooked in dashi, flavors approved by your favorite grandmas, and the Kiwicha shake – a crack-like blend of crunchy bits and healthy stuff,” Jeremiah says, adding, that you can “Expect service like the popular LA haunt Lemonade, choices like Chipotle (without the e.coli), and Michelin-level food preparation without the stuffy hospitality.”
“Have you ever eaten heathy food from a fat bearded chef who has worked in more fancy kitchens than most people can get their foot in the door?” asked Chef Jeremiah. “Then come get some!”
If you’re in LA on Sunday, you’re in luck as Kiwicha debuts at Smorgasburg LA. If not, just wait. It’s coming. In the meantime, follow on social media @eatkiwicha.