Originally known as cowpeas, this legume as an important part of the West African diet. Thomas Jefferson preferred it to English field peas, praising it as “… very productive, excellent food for man and beast.” An early Virginia cookbook included a recipe for fired cakes made of mashed black-eyed peas, a delicacy prepared by West Africans since the Middle Ages.
Did You Know?
English settlers were encouraged to plant mulberry trees to help their silk production attempts. (Silkworms eat mulberry leaves.) Red mulberry is native to North America but the silkworms preferred the white mulberries of the Orient. Today Jamestown has both red and white mulberry trees.