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Friday, August 18, 2017

6 Foods you didn't know were from the Americas

Alright, so this post is going to be about foods that you didn't know were cultivated by indigenous people for thousands of years before the Columbian Exchange, which started with Columbus' first voyage to the Americas in 1492. The Columbian Exchange was the movement of the following things between the 'Old World' (Asia, Europe and Africa) and the New:

  • Crops- the focus of this post
  • Animals- such as horses that were introduced to the New World, plus many exotic birds from the Americas were taken to Europe. For example, the Cuban Amazon parrot was given to Queen Isabella as a gift from Columbus. 
  • People- for example, European colonists and African slaves arrived in the Americas. A few Native Americans were abducted and taken to Europe.  
  • Culture- and religion too, which in many cases was forced on the local population. 
  • DISEASES- bEWAre.
  • Technology and ideas- pretty complicated to explain but super interesting. 


Alright so I'll get on with it soon, but first there is a pressing question that we must answer: Has my art improved in 4 years?

 I'll let you be the judge of that! 


Wannabehistorian1491's art circa 2013 anno domini 


 NOW

This was a normal everyday occurrence in the shady alleyways of Tenochtitlan. Just kidding. Pears aren't even native to the Americas. However, many surprising crops are. Obviously maize and quinoa are both native to the Americas (everyone knows that), but here are some crops and foods you wouldn't expect:


  • The Dragonfruit (or Pitaya) Lots of people think these are from Asia, but they actually originate in Southern Mexico. The Mayan word for them was "wob". I've made a post on it in detail which you can read here. 

  • Potatoes No, they're not from Ireland. They were first cultivated in the Andean region. National Potato day is celebrated every year in Peru.
  • Guavas I didn't know these were from Central America O_o ... but maybe because I'm just dumb.
  • Turkey Many people around the world don't know they're from the Americas. Take a look at this awesome comic by Itchy Feet (a webcomic about travel and linguistics). As you can see, people think it is from random af places when it is actually from North America. Since I think it is stupid that the Americas aren't just considered one super large continent, I think Indians come close enough when they think it's from Peru. 

  • Sunflowers Although the crop was commercialized by Russia, sunflower seeds were eaten by many Native American tribes and are from here. The flag of the Hopi nation has sunflowers on it:
  • Tomatoes What would Italian cuisine be without them? They were once thought to be poisonous, but now they're used in a lot of things we eat today, like ketchup.


                                                           I hope you enjoyed this post :D 












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