+ + +

start exploring

Six Foods Brought To The Americas To Help Keep African Culture Alive

+ + +

Africa is often portrayed as a starving continent, which ignores the fact that centuries before colonizers began depleting the region of its resources,

Africans had advanced food systems in place.

+ + +

When enslaved Africans were taken to the Americas, they brought their culinary wisdom with them, forever changing the way we cook and consume food. 

Africans had advanced food systems in place.

+ + +

The successful cultivation of these foods not only contributed to the rapid growth of the American economy, but led to the creation of soul food, Creole cuisine, barbecue, and more.

Here are six foods that originated in Africa that remain popular today:

+ + +

Rice

It’s likely that the first rice seeds used for farming were imported directly from the island of Madagascar in 1685. 

+ + +

Coffee

Most people associate it with Central & South America, but Ethiopia is the birthplace of the world’s principal coffee.“Coffee” stems from the word “kaffa”, a former Ethiopian province.

+ + +

Yam

Yams were the primary food for enslaved Africans aboard slave ships, with one slave merchant noting that “a ship that takes in 500 slaves, must provide above 100,000 yams.”

+ + +

Black-eyed peas

According to some sources, black-eyed peas reached Florida around 1700, North Carolina by the 1730s, and became a common table food in Virginia after the American Revolution. 

+ + +

Okra

Okra originated in Ethiopia and is still cultivated in present-day Ethiopia as well as Eritrea and parts of Sudan and was used in a variety of ways. 

+ + +

Watermelon

Food historians are mixed on the origins of watermelon, but some believe that it’s the ancestor of a bitter melon that spread from Sudan to Egypt during the second millennium.

It's always interesting to learn where our foods come from. for more content like this, head over to travel noire!

+ + +