7 Foods Developed by Native Americans

When Christopher Columbus reached the Americas, he hoped the land would be rich with gold, silver and precious spices, but perhaps the New World’s greatest treasure was its bounty of native food crops cultivated for millennia by Indigenous Americans.

As much as three-fifths of the world’s agricultural crops originated in the Americas. Without the Columbian Exchange, there would be no tomatoes for Italian food, no hot chili peppers for Indian cuisine, and no dietary staples like potatoes, squash, beans or corn. Corn alone is the world’s most-cultivated crop with an estimated 500 million acres harvested annually.