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peanuts

Evidence demonstrates that peanuts were domesticated in prehistoric times in Peru. Archeologists have thus far dated the oldest specimens to about 7,600 years before the present. The plant was later spread worldwide by European traders. The nut gained Western popularity when it came to the United States from Africa. It had become popular in Africa after being brought there from Brazil by the Portuguese around 1800.

Popular confections include salted peanuts, peanut butter and shelled nuts (plain/roasted). Salted peanuts are usually roasted in oil and packed in retail size, plastic bags or hermetically sealed cans.

The European Union is the largest consuming region in the world that does not produce peanuts. All of its consumption is supplied by imports. Consumption of peanuts in the EU is primarily as food, mostly as roasted-in-shell peanuts and as shelled peanuts used in confectionery and bakery products.