Why "Keen-Wah"?

So I'm stumped. It's probably just because I never took Spanish, but why the devil is a perfectly reasonable word form like "Quinoa" pronounced exclusively as "Keen-Wah"?

I just don't get it; unlike most non-English words in this alphabet the official pronunciation seems entirely, well, foreign to me. Apparently "Kwih-Noah" as rhymes with Krakatoa isn't even an option. "Kee Noah" is apparently okay, though I've rarely if ever heard it that way.

It almost amounts to a foodie shibboleth, as all those "in the know" chefs and food aficionados let the "keen-wah" roll of their tongues, while this (and I presume other) uncultured native English speaker is stumped every time I see the word in print. The requisite pronunciation key is even helpfully diagrammed on every package of the stuff I've seen.

By now I've just about gotten used to saying it the "right" way, but I thought I'd ask anyway, before I complete my assimilation. Does anybody else have any insight or share this little peeve?

Could be just me; I still think the defined pronunciation for "Wii" is stupid. And I still sometimes fail to say "leen ooks" for Linux properly. :)


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