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5 Popular American Foods that are actually from Africa

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American foods- You relish your special diet and can’t do without that favorite meal daily. Well, have you ever paused to consider the possibility that your special dish might not be as American as you ever thought? Available facts indicate that some of the popular meals in American cuisine today were not originally from America. And guess what, some on the list you will amaze you.


5 American Foods with African Origin

These famous American Foods originated from different parts of Africa.


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Coffee (coffee Arabica) is probably one of the most consumed beverages in American. Though present in other countries, coffee originated from Ethiopia and came into America with some slaves and their European merchants. The average American drinks coffee several times a day. And coffee cultivation has become a mega business across the globe. So when you take a sip of your favorite coffee, thinking it originates from South American remember its true origin. UCLA professor, Judith Carney says, “Ethiopia is the birthplace of the world’s premier coffee.”



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The Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) makes a portion of exotic American foods, fruits, and drinks. It is currently grown and consumed in several countries in the world today. However, watermelon as fruit has its roots in Africa and grown naturally.

Watermelon could be eaten in different exciting forms as fruit, to manufacture drinks or a flavor. This rich fruit has excellent health value and could be taken mostly during the summertime in the US. At least 90% of the watermelon’s composition is water with a hard and greenish bark offering medicinal values.


Black-eyed peas

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Black-eyed peas (Vigna unguiculata) also known as the cowpeas originated from central and South Africa. It’s called black-eyed peas because of the black dot on the white beans that looks like an eye. As an American food, the black-eyed pea is a necessary ingredient for cooking during the New Year’s Day celebration.

Black-eyed pea is also an essential condiment in preparing Hopping John or Carolina pea and rice. Hopping John is a good luck symbol in the American South. So if you need good luck for the year 2020, just give this African turned American food a try!



american foodOkra (Hibiscus esculentus) has its origin rooted in West Africa. Okra is spelled and pronounced as Okro in some African countries like Nigeria and still eaten to date. “Wherever okra points its green tip, Africa has been,” says historian Jessica Harris.

One easy way to identify the okra is its green spear-shaped slender body with a pointed tip. The outer-body of the okra has 6 to 8 spines that connect the base of the okra to the tip. Inside the crop comprises of a countless number of whitish seeds which makes up part of the food.

You can dice the okra and prepare it using different meal preparations plan. Once cooked you have a tender pod with slimy juice to savor. Ask a southerner, from Louisiana and New Orleans to tell you about the great delight, the succotashes or gumbos.

One reason lovers of okra appreciates the crop is its richness in potassium and zero cholesterol level. It’s an exciting addition to American foods, loved by fitness experts and dieticians.


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Jambalaya is a rice-based food with a mixture of vegetables, stock, and meat. The meal looks appealing, colorful, and delicious due to the blend of condiments. Jambalaya is one of the most famous American foods with origin from Africa. The rice is the main item in the meal with a mix of other things to create a savory meal. Though Jambalaya has gained widespread acceptance in America, it has more popularity in the South in areas like Louisiana.

The list of American foods with African origin doesn’t end here. Other notable African American foods include the rice pudding from Senegal, and Kola nut, which initially was a significant ingredient in the Coca-Cola drink.

History of How African Diets Helped Create American Foods

Some American foods and crops came to be during the slave trade era of the 1450s to the 1900s. Slaves transported to Europe and America as well as their slave merchants brought in most of these crops. Also, the manner of preparation was introduced by the slaves who retained their culinary skills over the years.

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