A South American native, the peanut arrived in North America via slave ships and in African-inspired cooking on plantations. Slaves sometimes made a little cash growing and selling the famous 'goober pea,' and after the Civil War, when Union soldiers acquired a taste for them, peanuts traveled north.
Goober Peas: America's Favorite Snack Food
There's the vendor...can you smell it? A little bit closer now...can you taste it? Even before that first morsel hits your palate, can you feel the sensations? Oh, yeah! Nothing like the nutty aroma of fresh roasted peanuts. They have been around for a long, long time, first enjoyed by children. One day those children grew up but I dare say probably not a one ever outgrew the love of peanuts.
|Street Vendor on the streets of New York City 1900|
|Peanut vendor near the
junction of Washington|
and Flatbush Avenues, Brooklyn, circa 1905
|1910 Peanut Vendor|
In the early part of the century, it was not unusual to find young children pushing the vending carts around the city. They worked an average of 6 hours a day often working until after midnight. Wages were not earned for personal use but turned over to 'father'.
Beginning in 1948, the vendors 'push' became more than just peanuts while the wheels were no longer dependent upon human hands to move them along. The evolution of the old-fashioned wooden carts to the stainless steel pushcarts allowed the once only peanut vendor to branch out and sling out an enormous array of different foods. For many on the streets of large cities, this is still their livelihood.
|So many choices...where are the peanuts? Sprinkled on the 'dogs', |
baked in the bread, nutty pretzels perhaps?
Image Credit: Andrew Savulich/New York Daily News
|Image Source: www.flickr.com|
Eat more peanuts!