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Peanuts: One of our most loved and versatile foods

The peanut had a long journey before ever being put into those tiny bags given to airline passengers. Let’s take a trip from what is believed to be its birthplace to where it has become one of America’s most popular snacks. We even tell the stories of peanut byproducts such as peanut butter, oil and so many more. The journey includes Dr. George Washington Carver’s development of more than 300 uses of the peanut, including shoe polish and shaving cream.

South America is our starting place. Pottery 3,500 years old in the shape of and decorated with peanuts has been found. The Incas used peanuts as sacrificial offerings and entombed them with mummies to aid them in the spirit world. European explorers first discovered peanuts in Brazil. In time Spanish explorers discovered peanuts growing as far north as Mexico, and returned to Spain with peanuts aboard. It was from there the traders and explorers spread peanuts to Asia and Africa. Sailing ships in the 1700s with African slaves aboard...

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