List of food origins
- 1 Americas
- 2 North America
- 3 Mexico and Central America
- 4 South America
- 5 Middle East
- 6 Europe
- 7 Atlantic, North Europe
- 8 Asia
- 9 Africa
- 10 Polynesia
- 11 See also
- 12 References
Corn, beans and squash were domesticated in Mesoamerica around 3500 BCE. Potatoes and manioc were domesticated in South America. In what is now the eastern United States, Native Americans domesticated sunflower, sumpweed and goosefoot around 2500 BCE.
|Cereals||Maize (corn), maygrass, and little barley|
|Pseudocereals||Amaranth, quinoa, erect knotweed, sumpweed, and sunflowers|
|Pulses||Common beans, tepary beans, scarlet runner beans, lima beans, and peanuts|
|Fiber||Cotton, yucca, and agave|
|Roots and Tubers||Jicama, manioc (cassava), potatoes, sweet potatoes, sunchokes, oca, mashua, ulloco, arrowroot, yacon, leren, and groundnuts|
|Fruits||Tomatoes, chili peppers, avocados, cranberries, blueberries, huckleberries, cherimoyas, papayas, pawpaws, passionfruit, pineapples, soursops and strawberries|
|Meat and poultry||Turkey, bison, venison, muscovy ducks, and guinea pigs|
|Nuts||Peanut, black walnuts, shagbark hickory, pecans and hickory nuts|
|Other||Chocolate, canna, tobacco, chicle, rubber, maple syrup, birch syrup and vanilla|
|4000 BCE||Ground Nut||South America|
North American Nuts
- Acorn (Quercus alba, Quercus gambelii, Quercus kelloggii, Notholithocarpus densiflorus; Fagaceae)
- Black Walnut (Juglans nigra; Juglandaceae)
- White Walnut (Juglans cinerea; Juglandaceae)
- Hickory nut (Carya; Juglandaceae)
- Pecans (Carya illinoinensis; Juglandaceae)
- Shagbark Hickory (Carya ovate; Juglandaceae)
North American Vegetables and Grains
- Chives (Allium schoenoprasum; Amaryllidaceae)
- Echinacea (Asteroideae heliantheae; Asteraceae)
- Maple Sap (Acer; Hippocastanoideae)
- Pole Beans (Phaseolus coccineus; Faboideae)
- Pumpkin (Cucurbita; Cucurbitaceae)
- Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum; Solaneae)
- Sage (Salvia apiana; Lamiaceae)
- Squash (Cucurbiteae cucurbita; Cucurbitoideae)
- Sunflowers (Helianthus annuus; Asteraceae)
- Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus; Asteraceae), also known as topinambour
- Wild Rice (Zizania palustris; Poaceae)
Fruits of North American origin
Canada, Mexico, and the United States are home to a surprising number of edible fruit; however, only three are commercially grown/known on a global scale (grapes, cranberries, and blueberries.) Many of the fruits below are still eaten locally as they have been for centuries and others are generating renewed interest by eco-friendly gardeners (less need for bug control) and chefs alike.
- American Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis; Adoxaceae)
- American grape: North American species (e.g., Vitis labrusca; Vitaceae) and American-European hybrids are grown where grape (Vitis vinifera) is not hardy and are used as rootstocks
- American Mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum; Berberidaceae)
- American plum (Prunus americana; Rosaceae)
- American persimmon (Diospyros virginiana; Ebenaceae): Traditional for desserts and as dried fruit.
- Beach Plum (Prunus maritima; Rosaceae)
- Black cherry (Prunus serotina; Rosaceae very popular flavoring for pies, jams, and sweets.
- Black raspberry (Rubus occidentalis or Rubus leucodermis; Rosaceae)
- Blueberry (Vaccinium, sect. Cyanococcus; Ericaceae)
- Buffaloberry (Shepherdia argentea; Elaeagnaceae), which grows wild in the prairies of Canada.
- Canada Plum (Prunus nigra; Rosaceae)
- Canadian serviceberry (Amelanchier canadensis; Rosaceae), also called Sugarplum
- Chokecherry (Prunus virginiana; Rosaceae)
- Cocoplum (Chrysobalanus icaco; Chrysobalanaceae)
- Concord grape
- Cranberry (Vaccinium oxycoccus; Ericaceae)
- Dewberry (Rubus, sect. Flagellares, American dewberries; Rosaceae)
- False-mastic (Mastichodendron foetidissimum; Sapotaceae)
- Florida Strangler Fig (Ficus aurea; Moraceae)
- Ground Plum (Astragalus caryocarpus; Fabaceae), also called Ground-plum milk-vetch.
- Eastern May Hawthorn (Crataegus aestivalis; Rosaceae, better known as mayhaw.
- Huckleberry (Vaccinium parvifolium; Ericaceae)
- Maypop (Passiflora incarnata; Passifloraceae), traditionally a summer treat.
- Pawpaw (Asimina triloba; Annonaceae), not to be confused with Papaya (Carica papaya; Caricaceae), which is called pawpaw in some English dialects.
- Prickly pear (Opuntia spp.,; Cactaceae) used as both a fruit and vegetable depending on part of plant.
- Red mulberry (Morus rubra; Moraceae)
- Pigeon plum (Coccoloba diversifolia; Polygonaceae)
- Salal berry (Gaultheria shallon; Ericaceae)
- Salmonberry (Rubus spectabilis; Rosaceae)
- Saskatoonberry (Amelanchier alnifolia, Rosaceae
- Saw Palmetto (Serenoa repens; Arecaceae)
- Southern crabapple (Malus angustifolia; Rosaceae)
- Strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa; Rosoideae)
- Thimbleberry (Rubus parviflorus; Rosaceae)
- Toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia; Rosaceae)
- Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens; Ericaceae)
Pacific North West
Provisionally, this is primarily southern Coast Salish, though much is in common with Coast Salish overall.
Anthropogenic grasslands were maintained. The south Coast Salish may have had more vegetables and land game than people farther north or on the outer coast. Salmon and other fish were staples in this area. There was kokanee, a freshwater fish in the Lake Washington and Lake Sammamish watersheds. Shellfish were abundant. Butter clams, horse clams, and cockles were dried for trade.
Hunting was specialized; professions were probably sea hunters, land hunters, fowlers. Water fowl were captured on moonless nights using strategic flares.
The managed grasslands not only provided game habitat, but vegetable sprouts, roots, bulbs, berries, and nuts were foraged from them as well as found wild. The most important were probably bracken and camas; wapato especially for the Duwamish. Many, many varieties of berries were foraged; some were harvested with comblike devices not reportedly used elsewhere. Acorns were relished but were not widely available. Regional tribes went in autumn to the Nisqually Flats (Nisqually plains) to harvest them. Indeed, the region was so abundant that the southern Puget Sound as a whole had one of the only sedentary hunter-gatherer societies that has ever existed.
Mexico and Central America
Neolithic founder crops
The Neolithic founder crops (or primary domesticates) are the eight plant species that were domesticated by early Holocene (Pre-Pottery Neolithic A and Pre-Pottery Neolithic B) farming communities in the Fertile Crescent region of southwest Asia, and which formed the basis of systematic agriculture in the Middle East, North Africa, India, Persia and (later) Europe. They consist of flax, three cereals and four pulses, and are the first known domesticated plants in the world. Although domesticated rye (Secale cereale) occurs in the final Epi-Palaeolithic strata at Tell Abu Hureyra (the earliest instance of a domesticated plant species), it was an insignificant in the Neolithic Period of southwest Asia and only became common with the spread of farming into northern Europe several millennia later.
Cereals and Pseudocereals
- Emmer (Triticum dicoccum, descended from the wild T. dicoccoides)
- Einkorn (Triticum monococcum, descended from the wild T. boeoticum)
- Barley (Hordeum vulgare/sativum, descended from the wild H. spontaneum)
- Flax (Linum usitatissimum)
The Minoans raised cattle, sheep, pigs, and goats, and grew wheat, barley, vetch, and chickpeas, they also cultivated grapes, figs, and olives, and grew poppies, for poppy seed and perhaps opium. The Minoans domesticated bees, and adopted pomegranates and quinces from the Near East. They developed Mediterranean polyculture. There's also evidence of orchard farming (i.e., figs, olives and grapes).
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Atlantic, North Europe
There was a great deal of commerce between the provinces of the Roman Empire, all the regions of the empire became interdependent with one another, some provinces specialized in the production of grain, others in wine and others in olive oil, depending on the soil type. Columella writes in his Res Rustica, "Soil that is heavy, chalky, and wet is not unsuited to the growing for winter wheat and spelt. Barley tolerates no place except one that is loose and dry." Pliny the Elder writes extensively about agriculture from books XII to XIX; in fact, XVIII is The Natural History of Grain. Some crops grown on Roman farms include wheat, barley, millet, pea, broad bean, lentil, flax, sesame, chickpea, hemp, turnip, olives, pear, apples, figs, and plums. Others in the Mediterranean include:
- Brussels sprouts
- Catnip (nepeta)
Mediterranean and subtropical fruits
Fruits in this category are not hardy to extreme cold, as the preceding temperate fruits are, yet tolerate some frost and may have a modest chilling requirement. Notable among these are natives of the Mediterranean:
- Black mulberry (Morus nigra; Moraceae)
- Cornelian cherry (Cornus mas; Cornaceae)
- Date palm (Phoenix dactylifera; Arecaceae)
- Fig (Ficus spp. Moraceae)
- Grape, called raisin, sultana, or currant when it is dried. (Vitis spp.; Vitaceae)
- Jujube (Ziziphus zizyphus; Rhamnaceae)
- Olive (Olea europea; Oleaceae)
- Pomegranate (Punica granatum; Punicaceae)
- Sycamore fig (Ficus sycomorus. Moraceae) also called old world sycomore or just sycomore.
Fruits of Asian origin
Some fruits native to Asia or of Asian Origin.
- Citrus fruits
- Arhat (Siraitia grosvenorii; Cucurbitaceae) Also called longevity fruit
- Coconut (Cocos nucifera; Arecaceae)
- Che (Maclura tricuspidata; Moraceae) Also called Cudrania, Chinese Mulberry, Cudrang, Mandarin Melon Berry, Silkworm Thorn, zhe
- Durian (Durio spp; Malvaceae)
- Goumi (Elaeagnus multiflora ovata; Elaeagnaceae family)
- Hardy Kiwi (Actinidia arguta; Actinidiaceae family)
- Kiwifruit or Chinese gooseberry (Actinidia spp.; Actinidiaceae)
- Mock Strawberry or Indian Strawberry (Potentilla indica; Rosaceae)
- Lanzones (Lansium domesticum; Meliaceae family)
- Lapsi (Choerospondias axillaris Roxb. Anacardiaceae)
- Longan (Dimocarpus longan; Sapindaceae family)
- Lychee (Litchi chinensis; Sapindaceae family)
- Mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana; Clusiaceae family)
- Nungu (Borassus flabellifer; Arecaceae)
- Persimmon (aka Sharon Fruit) (Diospyros kaki; Ebenaceae)
- Rambutan (Nephelium lappaceum; Sapindaceae family)
- Rhubarb (Rheum rhaponticum; Polygonaceae)
- Sageretia (Sageretia theezans; Rhamnaceae) Also called Mock Buckthorn
The first instances of domestication of plants for agricultural purposes in Africa occurred in the Sahel region circa 5000 BCE, when sorghum and African Rice (Oryza glaberrima) began to be cultivated. Around this time, and in the same region, Fonio and the small Guineafowl were domesticated.
Around 4000 BCE the climate of the Sahara and the Sahel started to become drier at an exceedingly fast pace. This climate change caused lakes and rivers to shrink rather significantly and caused increasing desertification. This, in turn, decreased the amount of land conducive to settlements and helped to cause migrations of farming communities to the more humid climate of West Africa.
The most famous crop domesticated in the Ethiopian highlands is coffee. In addition, khat, ensete, noog, teff and finger millet were also domesticated in the Ethiopian highlands. Crops domesticated in the Sahel region include sorghum and pearl millet. The Kola nut, extracts from which became an ingredient in Coca-Cola, was first domesticated in West Africa. Other crops domesticated in West Africa include African rice, African yams, black-eyed peas and the oil palm.
Fruits of Australian origin
Although the fruits of Australia were eaten for thousands of years as bushfood by Aboriginal people, they have only been recently recognized for their culinary qualities by non-indigenous people. Many are regarded for their piquancy and spice-like qualities for use in cooking and preserves. Some Australian fruits also have exceptional nutritional qualities, including high vitamin C and other antioxidants.
- Atherton Raspberry (Rubus probus; Rosaceae)
- Black Apple (Planchonella australis; Sapotaceae)
- Blue tongue (Melastoma affine; Melastomataceae)
- Bolwarra (Eupomatia laurina; Eupomatiaceae)
- Burdekin Plum (Pleiogynium timorense; Anacardiaceae)
- Broad-leaf Bramble (Rubus hillii; Rosaceae)
- Cedar Bay cherry (Eugenia carissoides; Myrtaceae)
- Cluster fig (Ficus racemosa; Moraceae)
- Common apple-berry (Billardiera scandens; Pittosporaceae)
- Conkerberry (Carissa lanceolata; Apocynaceae)
- Davidson's plum (Davidsonia spp.; Cunoniaceae)
- Desert fig (Ficus platypoda; Moraceae)
- Desert lime (Citrus glauca; Rutaceae)
- Doubah (Marsdenia australis; Apocynaceae)
- Emu Apple (Owenia acidula; Meliaceae)
- Fibrous Satinash (Syzygium fibrosum; Myrtaceae)
- Finger Lime (Citrus australasica; Rutaceae)
- Illawarra Plum (Podocarpus elatus; Podocarpaceae)
- Little gooseberry tree (Buachanania arborescens; Anacardiaceae)
- Kakadu lime (Citrus gracilis; Rutaceae)
- Kutjera (Solanum centrale; Solanaceae)
- Kakadu plum (Terminalia ferdinandiana; Combretaceae)
- Karkalla (Carpobrotus rossii; Aizoaceae)
- Lady apple (Syzygium suborbiculare; Myrtaceae)
- Lemon aspen (Acronychia acidula; Rutaceae)
- Midyim (Austromyrtus dulcis; Myrtaceae)
- Mountain pepper (Tasmannia spp.; Winteraceae )
- Muntries (Kunzea pomifera; Myrtaceae)
- Native Cherry (Exocarpus cupressiformis; Santalaceae)
- Native currant (Acrotriche depressa; Ericaceae)
- Native gooseberry (Physalis minima; Solanaceae)
- Pigface (Carpobrotus glaucescens; Aizoaceae)
- Pink-flowered Native Raspberry (Rubus parvifolius; Rosaceae)
- Purple apple-berry (Billarderia longiflora; Pittosporaceae)
- Quandong (Santalum acuminatum; Elaeocarpaceae)
- Riberry (Syzygium luehmannii; Myrtaceae)
- Rose-leaf Bramble (Rubus rosifolius; Rosaceae)
- Rose myrtle (Archirhodomyrtus beckleri; Myrtaceae)
- Sandpaper Fig (Ficus coronata; Moraceae)
- Small-leaf tamarind (Diploglottis campbellii; Sapindaceae)
- Snow berry (Gaultheria hispida; Ericaceae)
- Sweet apple-berry (Billarderia cymosa; Pittosporaceae)
- Tanjong (Mimusops elengi; Sapindaceae)
- White aspen (Acronychia oblongifolia; Rutaceae)
- Wild orange (Capparis mitchellii; Capparaceae)
- Wongi (Manilkara kaukii; Sapotaceae)
- Yellow plum (Ximenia americana; Olacaceae)
- Zig Zag Vine (Melodurum leichhardtii; Annonaceae)
- Neolithic Revolution
- New World Crops
- List of edible seeds
- List of culinary herbs and spices
- List of culinary nuts
- List of vegetables
- List of dried foods
- List of snack foods
- Local food
- Ark of Taste
- Diamond, Jared (1999). Guns, Germs, and Steel. New York: Norton Press. ISBN 0-393-31755-2.
- Diamond, Jared. Guns, Germs and Steel, W. W. Norton & Company, 1999, p. 126.
- Gardening History Timeline: From Ancient Times to the 20th Century
- "Cranberries: America's Native Fruit". Belly Bytes. Retrieved 2009-01-04. "Cranberries are as American as apple pie - in fact, even more so, for cranberries are one of only three major native North American fruits (Concord grapes and blueberries being the others). Long before the Pilgrims arrived in 1620 CE, the North American Indians combined crushed cranberries with dried deer meat and melted fat to make pemmican - a food that would keep for a long time."
- Suttle, Wayne P.; Lane, Barbara (1990-08-20). "South Coast Salish". In Sturtevant, William C. Handbook of North American Indians. 7. Northwest coast. Washington: Smithsonian Institution. pp. 485–500. ISBN 0-16-020390-2 (v. 7).
- However, it has been doubted recently that the systematic exploitation within a polyculture model was employed at Crete (Hamilakis, Y (2007) 
- Sherratt, A. (1981) Plough and pastoralism: aspects of the secondary products revolution
- Lucius Junius Moderatus Columella, On Agriculture (Res Rustica), (Loeb Classical Library), Book II page 145
- Diamond 1997, p. 100
- "Curry, Spice & All Things Nice: Dawn of History".
- O'Brien, Patrick K. (General Editor). Oxford Atlas of World History. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005. pp.22-23