Where do Lima Beans come from and How did Lima Beans get their name?

Lima beans, which are also called butter beans, are named for the city, Lima, Peru.

Cultivated in Peru since prehistoric times, they have been found in ancient graves there.

They are only one of many foods that Native Americans cultivated and passed on to Europeans. Others include the tomato, potato, maize (which Americans call corn), chocolate, and many kinds of beans, including lima, kidney, and string beans.

Along with these nourishing agricultural products, the New World also gave Europe an unhealthy one, tobacco. The practice of smoking tobacco spread from the American colonies to Spain and Portugal in the mid-sixteenth century. It gradually became a worldwide habit.

The traffic in agricultural goods went in both directions. The Spanish introduced to the New World such familiar crops as wheat, oats, onions, apples, and oranges. Livestock imported to America by the Spanish included horses, cattle, sheep, and pigs.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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