Soldiers during the Civil War, like soldiers throughout history, found food to be a very important part of life. During the Civil War, no one would consider the food the soldiers ate to be gourmet and foods soldiers ate regularly, like hardtack, are foods that few eat today. One food, however, rose to prominence during the Civil War and has become a popular food across the United States: the peanut.
Before the Civil War, most Americans viewed peanuts as food for livestock or the very poor. Because of this, they were not widely grown.
During the war, it became difficult for many in the South to find food. A food they turned to, despite its prewar stigma, was peanuts. High in protein, peanuts grow well in the south and, as many would attest to today, are tasty (stigma or no).
By the time the war ended, many people had developed a taste for these formerly maligned nuts, and they never stopped eating the food that had once only been eaten as a wartime necessity.
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