For years, we have associated the peanut with kid food, pigeon food, circus food and elephant food. However, we did learn to allow peanut butter to find more sophisticated places in our at-home kitchens.
Now, more than ever, we are being reminded of how good for us peanuts are. More than anything, they are affordable protein! Protein is vital to all of mankind and too frequently it is priced very high, even in regions where people are very poor. In short, throughout early South America then Africa, these countries’ poor added anything they could grow to their groundnut stew, frequently serving it thick, as a sauce, over some starch. They readily learned the nutritious peanut blends nicely with a great number of foods and most amazingly, the TOMATO.
We know traders allowed the peanut to migrate from South America to Africa. Then, slaves as exported to North America brought precious peanuts along to grow in their new land. It didn’t take long before history records George Washington and Thomas Jefferson at Monticello proudly serving their version of Peanut Soup. To this day, fine restaurants in D.C. feature their own, special Peanut Soup.
The the peanut is also popular in Asian cooking. Portuguese traders brought groundnuts to the region in the 1600s, thus the popularity of many Satay dishes. Continue reading