Interview: Purely Pinole

Purely PinoleAn interview with Angela Palmieri and Claudio Ochoa, Co-Founders of Purely Pinole.

1) Tell me about the origin of the company.

Native State Foods was borne from a passion to bring back the wholesome, nourishing goodness of real food—and particularly to recapture and rediscover ancient foods like pinole that are powerfully nutritious, packed with flavor, but have been nearly lost.

Claudio: Our journey to introduce Purely Pinole began with a memory of a delicious breakfast porridge that I used to enjoy as a child in Latin America. Women from the nearby village would come to make it in our home and it would fill the kitchen with the warm, delicious aroma of chocolate and cinnamon and lightly roasted maize.

At the time, Angela and I were living in the heart of New York City leading busy, hectic lives and often found ourselves craving healthier food choices and a more balanced lifestyle. This sparked a journey that took us away from corporate America, to the deep back roads and rural markets of Latin America, to the founding of Native State Foods.

2) What makes pinole a “superfood”?

Purely Pinole is one-stop power shop for everything your body needs to kick-start the day. It’s high in protein and essential amino acids that give you long-lasting, sustained energy, keep you feeling full longer, and provide your body much-needed fuel for muscle growth and recovery. It’s high in fiber, which aids in digestion and metabolism. And, its high in powerful antioxidants that cleanse the body of unwanted free radicals, help reduce inflammation, and aid in immune support. Purely Pinole makes it easy to get powerful, wholesome support and the nutritional enrichment your body needs.

3) You say that you are the first to introduce pinole to the US; why do you think it hasn’t caught on sooner in the States?

Pinole was created more than 500 years ago by the Aztecs. Mostly today it can only be found in remote places in Latin America, including as a staple of the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico—a reclusive tribe who run hundreds of miles between villages (nearly barefoot!) fueled by pinole. Pinole, however, is still crudely made by hand today, and as such is nearly a lost food.

Angela: We spent significant time recreating the ancient handmade process of making pinole and brought it here to the US. It was important to us to preserve the food’s identity, its integrity, and its history.

4) Could you describe how you felt different before and after introducing pinole into your diet?

Pinole delivers high-quality, functional nutrition. Whether you’re heading to the gym, or out for a morning run, for a day of skiing or simply to the office, pinole helps to power your day and keep you feeling your best.

Claudio: We routinely hear from our customers that they experience more energy, resulting in a higher level of performance. When I run in the mornings, I often get to the end of my run and am surprised to find that I have more left in the tank, enabling me to push myself a little further. This speaks to the natural, rich power of Purely Pinole.

5) Any plans for expanding the options available, or finding new “superfoods”?

Yes! We have an amazing new line of Grab & Go Snack Cups launching this spring. You get all of the delicious power of Purely Pinole to take with you on-the-go! We’ll be offering four delicious new flavors including Chocolate Mocha, Maqui Berry+Almond+Coconut, Berry Boost, and Brown Sugar+Cinnamon. It’s the perfect power snack for those busy mornings and your active, healthy lifestyle!

6) Any closing thoughts?

Angela: We believe good food matters. We believe in the wholesome power of delicious nutrition that feeds you and empowers you to live better. From seed to table, our team is driven by a passion for the simple beauty of food in its native state, and we look forward to sharing a bowl of pinole with you.

Learn more about Purely Pinole at