Common name: peanuts
Scientific name: Arachis hypogaea
Family: Fabaceae (legumes)
A bit of history
According to researchers, the peanut has its origin in South America. Cultivated by the Aztecs, most South Americans eat it daily. From South America, peanuts were introduced in Mexico and in the Caribbean. After the American conquest by Spaniards, they brought it to Europe, China, Philippines, Madagascar and parts of Asia. The Portuguese, for their part, implanted peanuts in Africa.”
Peanuts arrived to North America much later, during the period of the slave-trade. African slaves transported the plant over by ship from their continent. At first Americans used peanuts as animal feed, feeding animals like pigs, chickens and turkeys. That changed during the Civil War and during the turn of the century. Peanuts were harvested to provide nutritious food to the troop. It finally became widely available to the population. In 1890 peanut butter was invented and its popularity has not stopped growing since.