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African Crops and Food Traditions in North America

A number of food crops accompanied Africans on their journeys to the Americas, and enslaved Africans made major and lasting contributions to North American agriculture. This entry reviews some of the major crops and food traditions brought by Africans to the Americas, as well as some adaptations that were made in the Americas.

African Contributions to American Food Traditions

Some would argue that some of the greatest contributions of enslaved Africans to American culture were in the areas of agriculture and the establishment of food traditions. By the mid-18th century, numerous African crops, along with “reintroduced” American plant foods, had entered North America and found their way into popular foodways. Many of these eventually transitioned from being eaten exclusively by Africans to ...

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