With people trying to turn to cleaner, healthier diets along with the rise in the call for gluten free products the search for foods that fulfill those requirements has gone wide and far. It is in that environment that grains like quinoa have come out of. Young father and Montrealer Martin Bilodeau saw a slot that needed to be filled and began his company, GoGo Quinoa.
In 2004 GoGo Quinoa began a relationship with the city of La Paz in Bolivia and began importing quinoa in bulk from there. Everything they get from Bolivia is organic and fair trade. Quinoa is not exactly a sexy product. On its own it is rather bitter in taste. A hard sell you would think And yet GoGo Quinoa has made it happen becoming a big supplier of the product in Canada. They have grown to a thriving company situated in Saint Laurent which has brought to market around 40 quinoa and other grains products which are all gluten free, organic and fair trade.
Within their line-up they have a line of organic grains, conventional grains, other grains like chia seeds and amaranth, cereals, hots cereals, flakes qranola, baking products, cookies, soups, salt, burger mix, crunchies, pasta, and side dishes. Not satisfied to rest on their laurels the company has introduced a line of super grains pasta.
Within the new super grains pasta line they have three products: fusilli, elbows and spaghettini. The three pasta types are made with sorghum, quinoa, amaranth, and chia. They are all rice and corn free. Health benefit-wise they are high in iron and very high in fiber. The cherry on top of all that goodness is that they are certified gluten free, organic, non gmo, and vegan.
We were given a couple of sample packages of the Super Grains Fusilli. I have to say that I was more than a little doubtful about the taste of what I was about to cook up. Most of us have sampled gluten free products and been left with no desire to try them again. They tend towards the grainy and dry in regards to texture. The fusilli is darker in colour than your typical dry pasta. On the 227 gram package it lets you know that it will have an al dente texture to it and the boiling time is your typical 9-11 minutes. It also indicates that it will support any type of pasta sauce. Also within the nutrition facts on the back of the package it lets you know that it is very low in sodium, has 8 grams of protein per serving, no sugar, only 3.5 grams of fat, and no cholesterol. Very healthy pasta option.
So off I went while trying to maintain an open mind about what I was about to eat. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. It was good! It definitely cooked up al dente, but not too crunchy. Does not fall apart during the cooking process. Let’s not fool ourselves as pasta is all about the taste and this one, while having a different taste about it, was rather pleasing. I had never tried any of the GoGo Quinoa pastas before so really didn’t know what to expect. What was most surprising was that there was no bitter or any type of yucky aftertaste.
The second new product that was offered to us for a sampling was the Double Chocolate Quinoa Cookies. They, unfortunately, did not earn such a positive review from me. They were dry having that almost stale quality to the texture. They do have a decent chocolate (dark chocolate is used) taste, so the problem really is about the texture. What is good is that the cookies are all individually wrapped inside the 198 gram package.
There are several other new products in the GoGo Quinoa stable. In the organic grains there is a Royal Tri-Color, within the cereals there is a Quinoa, Sorghum & Black Beans and within the baking there is an All-Purpose Flour.