Why this Ethiopian staple could be the new quinoa

By Polycarp Kazaresam

Ethiopians have been eating teff for around 3,000 years, but it seems to only have been recently picked up by the west. Teff's been dubbed the “new quinoa” and has received celebrity endorsements from the likes of Victoria Beckham and Gwyneth Paltrow. Who knows – in the future we could see teff becoming a mainstream grain globally. Just in case, we’ve done some research on the stuff. Here are our ten facts about teff:

  • Teff is gluten-free
  • It boasts 13 percent protein, thus making it an ideal grain for slow release energy
  • It’s been estimated that Ethipiopians get two-thirds of their dietary protein from teff
  • Teff’s current cost is at around £7 for a bag of flour, although this price my change as popularity grows
  • Many Ethiopian runners (take Haile Gebresalassie, for example) credit teff as their secret to success
  • In the US, teff sales rose by 58 percent in 2014
  • In Ethiopia, teff is mostly eaten in the form of injera, a tart, spongy flatbread that is served with most meals. 
  • Government restrictions, instituted in 2006, forbid the export of raw teff grain, allowing only shipments of processed teff products. However, restrictions have been partially lifted to meet prevent other countries from dominating the teff market.
  • In Ethiopia, teff yields have increased by 50 percent
  • Teff can be used to make products such as pancakes, breads, cereals, snack bars
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