Where do peaches come from?
When did people start to eat peaches?
When did peaches reach Europe and Africa?
The formation of the Persian Empire and then the Silk Road brought peaches further west. People living in the Persian Empire and probably India enjoyed peaches about 500 BC, and then by about 100 BC people in the Roman Empire were eating peaches too, and under Roman rule farmers grew peaches as far west as North Africa and Spain, and even as far north as England.
Peaches probably reached East Africa about the same time as bananas and coconut, about 800 AD, when Indonesian Muslim traders began to reach Madagascar, and they probably spread through Africa along with the new Islamic religion.
When did peaches come to the Americas?
When Portuguese soldiers conquered South America from the Aztecs and Inca in the 1500s AD, they brought peaches with them, and people began to grow peaches in South America, too. In the 1600s, Spanish settlers also brought peaches to Florida, where the Cherokee and Iroquois soon learned to grow them.
Bibliography and further reading about peaches:
Food, by Fiona MacDonald and others (2001). For kids, facts about food from all over the world. A little preachy.
Food in Antiquity: A Survey of the Diet of Early Peoples, by Don and Patricia Brothwell (1998). Pretty specialized, but the book tells you where foods came from, and how they got to other places, and what people ate in antiquity. Not just Europe, either!
Food: A Culinary History from Antiquity to the Present, by Jean Louis Flandrin, Massimo Montanari, Albert Sonnenfeld. (1996). Hard going because it is translated from French, but Flandrin was one of the world’s great food historians.