Peanuts and the Atlantic Slave Trade
In my book, Hog and Hominy , I show that before the 19th century, the Portuguese introduced South American plants to the coast of West and Central Africa including peanuts. Overtime African farmers incorporated the plant into their fields and cookery particularly as one pot meals. Enslaved Africans then introduced peanuts to North Americans during the African slave trade. In colonial America, particular the south, most considered them poor folks food or slave vittles. Dr. David Shields of the University of South Carolina tracked down a Carolina African Runner Peanut, one of the first peanut plants that Africans introduced to the Carolinas. He then introduced the plant to Clemson University in South Carolina which is now cultivating the plant to reintroduce into southern fields.