And I Can Cook, Too

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Aw, Nuts!

I was recently challenged to elucidate on the etymology of monkey nuts, and advised to keep my head out of the gutter. Head firmly held high (but with a knowing smile on my face) I embarked on my mission. What could this mysterious nut be? As I researched, I visualized exotic edibles found only in the far reaches of Asia used for medicinal purposes to cure lovesickness and male impotence. Exhaustive research and a quick peek in the Cambridge World History of Food at last solved this brainteaser.

The monkey nut (arachis hypogaea) is not a nut at all, but a tuber native to South America. Traces of the monkey nut have been found in archeological digs dating back to 800 B.C. Native Americans utilized the monkey nut by roasting and grinding them into a smooth, oily paste, a practice still employed in modern times. Rich in protein, B vitamins, magnesium, and iron, the monkey nut paste is a major source of nutrition for children across the country. That's right, elusive and ever so bawdy monkey nut is nothing more than your standard, everyday peanut.

So much for curing lovesickness.


  • At 5:27 PM, Blogger Tim said…

    1000 years ago, a brave company attempted to market a new product. They called it "Monkeynut Butter." Soon after, the executives were rounded up and stoned to death (and not in the fun way either). Many centuries passed before someone figured a way around the name thing.

    This is all true, I swear. Every word.

  • At 6:40 PM, Blogger Kristin Van Bodegraven said…

    I believe you Timmy. Thousands wouldn't. But I do.


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