From Old World to New World
A traditional vegetable finds new uses.
Okra was a common vegetable throughout Africa. By the early
1700s it had arrived in New Orleans. For African Americans, okra was food,
drink, and medicine. They used the pods to thicken soups and stews and brewed
the seeds into a coffee substitute. They also used the plant medicinally
to end pregnancies. The plant can irritate the skin.
Plant is toxic.
You may not know it, but you are eating okra in commercial
foods such as candies, salad dressings, and cheese spreads. Southern cooks
use it in soups, stews, gumbos, and Creole dishes; they also dip it in cornmeal
and fry it.
From Old World to New World Medical Technology