New World crops
New World crops are those crops, food and otherwise, that were native to the New World (mostly the Americas) before 1492 AD and not found anywhere else at that time. Many of these crops are now grown around the world and have often become an integral part of the cuisine of various cultures in the Old World. Notable among these crops are the Three Sisters: maize, winter squash, and climbing beans.
List of crops
Timeline of cultivation
|8000 BCE||Squash||Oaxaca, Mexico|
|8000–5000 BCE||Potato||Peruvian Andes|
|6000–4000 BCE||Peppers||Oaxaca, Mexico|
|5700 BCE||Maize||Guerrero, Mexico|
|5500 BCE||Peanut||South America|
|c. 4200 BCE||Sea-island cotton||Peru|
|4000 BCE||Common bean||Central America|
|3400 BCE||Mexican cotton||Tehuacan Valley, Mexico|
|3000 BCE||Sunflowers, other beans||Arizona–New Mexico|
|1500 BCE||Sweet potato||Altiplano Cundiboyacense, Colombia|
Dissemination to the Old World
Food historian Lois Ellen Frank calls potatoes, tomatoes, corn, beans, squash, chili, cacao, and vanilla the "magic eight" ingredients that were found and used only in the Americas before 1492 and were taken via the Columbian Exchange back to the Old World, dramatically transforming the cuisine there. According to Frank,
If we deconstruct that these foods were inherently native, then that means that the Italians didn't have the tomato, the Irish didn't have the potato, half the British National Dish—Fish and Chips—didn't exist. The Russians didn't have the potato, nor did they have vodka from the potato. There were no chiles in any Asian cuisine anywhere in the world, nor were there any chiles in any East Indian cuisine dishes, including curries. And the French had no confection using either vanilla or chocolate. So the Old World was a completely different place.
- First agricultural revolution
- List of food plants native to the Americas
- Neolithic founder crops
- Timeline of agriculture and food technology
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Sunflower Seed Sunflower (Helianthus annus var. marcocarpus) is a New World crop, known to have been grown in Arizona–New Mexico in 3000 BC and in the Mississippi–Missouri Basin at least since 900 BC.
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