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Baltimore Street Venders and Peanuts


Roasted Konstant Peanut Vender in front of the Lexington Market in Baltimore, Maryland 
I took the pictures above as part of field work I did in Baltimore in 2010. Peanuts are indigenous to Brazil. During the Atlantic slave trade the Portuguese introduced them to West and Central Africa where they used them as part of the rations they gave to enslaved Africans. Seeing an economic opportunity African farmers began planting them in their fields and selling them to those seeking food for the Atlantic slave trade. In Africa and the Americas peanuts became something of a candy that people regularly snacked on, that became the case in the south where people boiled them with salt and roasted them.  One 1904 account describes an elderly African American man in south who sold cups of roasted peanuts for five cents each out of large basket. Maya Angelou describes eating bags of peanuts her family bought from street venders in 1940s St. Louis, Missouri. They would mix them with jelly beans and thus creating “a delicious [sweet and savory] treat.” In addition to becoming a street vender’s food, peanuts became a popular snack sold in stadiums.

Street Venders Series with Recipes: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=Street+Venders

Peanut Stories with Recipes: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=peanuts

The High Tech Empanada Street Vender

Street Venders in Nineteenth Century Rio, Brazil