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Food Crops, Exchange of Between Africa and the Americas

Some people may be aware that a few popular crops in the Americas, such as watermelon and okra, originated in Africa. However, Africa’s otherwise extensive role in the intercontinental exchange of food crops may not be widely understood or appreciated. These food crop exchanges have had profound and numerous effects on agricultural production, cuisine, and diet in the Americas and Africa.

Food crop exchanges between Africa and the Americas involved four passageways:

This entry focuses on the introduction of African foods, both indigenous and nonindigenous, to the Americas, and discusses the cultural and culinary significance of several indigenous African crops.

Crops of African Origin

A combination of enslaved Africans and European enslavers brought crops to the Americas. All ships crossing the ...

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