by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist
May 23, 2013
The peanut, which is actually a legume and not a nut at all, was originally cultivated in what is today Brazil or Peru at least as far back as 3,500 years ago.
When the Spanish first began exploring the New World in the 1500′s, they were intrigued by peanut cultivation by natives in Central America and brought some back to Spain for growing. From Europe, the peanut made its way to Africa via trading.
The peanut came full circle back to the New World when Africans brought them to North America as part of the slave trade.
Slaves planted peanuts, or “goobers” from the Congo word for peanut – nguba, throughout the Southern United States. Records show that peanuts were cultivated for commercial use in South Carolina as early as 1800.
Many peanut recipes coming directly from African traditions spread through the Southern USA as the popularity of this humble legume grew – including the beloved boiled peanut.