12 March 2007

New World Foods

What foods did Europe, Asia and Africa lack prior to 1492? A few of them were:

Maize, potatoes, chocolate, peanuts, vanilla, tomatoes, pineapples, lima beans, sweet and chili peppers, tapioca and the turkey.

While I don't entirely trust this source, I trust most of the sources it cites, which state that some other New World originals (not all food and supplemented by this source) include: llama, alpaca, guinea-pig, kidney beans, sweet potatoes, manioc (aka cassava aka tapioca), squash, pumpkin, arrowroot, cacao, cactus, avocados, quinine, cocaine, tobacco, rubber, Jerusalem artichoke, custard apple, star apple, chickle, and cascara, cashews, blueberries (some species also found in East Asia), and wild rice.

Also, notably, while horses originally evolved in North America, they went extict in the megafauna extinction wave that the continent experienced 10,000 years ago or so, and weren't restored to North America until the 1500s. Other notable introductions to the Americas include: cattle, pigs, sheep, chickens, honey bees, wheat, Asian rice, Okra peaches, pears, watermelon, bananas, olives, and chickpeas.

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