“Amaranthus, collectively known as amaranth or pigweed, is a cosmopolitan genus of herbs. Approximately 60 species are presently recognized, with inflorescences and foliage ranging from purple and red to gold. Members of this genus share many characteristics and uses with members of the closely related genus Celosia. Although several species are often considered weeds, people around the world value amaranths as leaf vegetables, cereals and ornamentals. The word comes from the Greek amarantos, the “one that does not wither,” or the never-fading (flower).”
Buenos Aires – I expect this one will not whither. A restaurant, that is. Relatively new, it’s a mere couple of blocks from home and I’d passed it by numerous times, thinking it was nothing but a simple cafe. Then one Sunday morning I wandered in, figuring on some toast and coffee, perhaps an egg, only to discover that they offer real brunch – eggs benedict (though having difficulty sourcing Canadian bacon), huevos rancheros, bagels with lox and cream cheese – and real bagels too, they make them on-site, muffins, waffles, pancakes… you get the idea, right? Not common here in Buenos Aires. Since then, I’ve been back to Amaranta, Junín 1559, many more times, and it’s become my neighborhood hangout. It’s also seems to be the spot of choice for many a norteamericano expat or visitor, as they seem to be the mainstay of the clientele. [As of December 2009, this place is closed, and the owners have moved back to Bolivia, where the chef is now teaching at a culinary school in Santa Cruz. We stay in touch, on and off.]
As best I can tell, the name is just a name, I have yet to see amaranth or any other Andean grains on the menu, even if Humberto is from Bolivia.