Why is this important?: Tolkien himself has replaced food and goods that were exclusive only to the new world prior to the Exploration Age in revised editions of his works. See this link for more discussion on the subject, and how some new world plants could've been imported from Numenor/Valinor. So if we want to have our RP posts in-line with the spirit of Tolkien, we have to keep in mind which foods are plausible to grow and use in current day in 3014.

I would like to point out that it is very plausible to use most of these foods and goods in our everyday RP. But not all of them, as you'll see.

This is how I will discuss some of the most commonly used foods and crops in our modern day world: I will discuss where the origin of each food/crop in real life, and how plausible it is for an average RP character to possess/use it.

Please feel free to make comments or suggest any changes.


Grains-

Maize (Corn):
Origin- Mexico. Can be grown in plenty of regions
Middle Earth Plausibility- Confirmed as ingredient in Lembas (Maybe? See Morgoth's Ring for description of white corn in lembas). Either way, very high plausibility



Pseudograins-

Sunflower:
Origin- Most commonly in North America in temperate regions
Middle Earth Plausibility- Very High



Beans-

The Common Bean:
Origin- Mesoamerica and parts of South America. Can be grown in plenty of regions
Middle Earth Plausibility- Very High

Lima Beans:
Origin- Mesomerica. Can be grown in plenty of regions
Middle Earth Plausibility- Very High

Peanuts:
Origin- Northwestern Argentina or Southeastern Bolivia. Best grown in regions with long periods of warm weather (see Southern U.S and China)
Middle Earth Plausibility- High



Roots and tubers-

Potato:
Origin- Southern Peru and some parts of Bolivia. Can be grown in plenty of regions (see Ireland)
Middle Earth Plausibility- Confirmed (Source: Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbits, Two Towers)

Sweet Potato:
Origin- Central or South America. Cannot tolerate frost. Can be grown as summer crop in temperate regions, though.
Middle Earth Plausibility- High



Fruits-

Avocado:
Origin- Mexico or California. Most common breed grows in sub-tropic region without frost and with little wind.
Middle Earth Plausibility- Medium. Probably most common in places with a degree of weather control, like Lothlorien

Cocoa Bean (Chocolate):
Origin- Central America. Can only be grown 20 to the north and south of the Equator
Middle Earth Plausibility- Very low. If it can be found anywhere in 3014, most likely in the jungle areas deep within Harad region. But availability extremely limited even then due to probable trade embargoes from Gondor to Harad, lack of Harad government (Harad tribe could hoard cocoa and not spread it) to commercially grow or create organized trade to Rhun (?)

Cranberries:
Origin- North America. Traditionally grown in wetlands. Can be grown in places with consistently high soil moisture content. Can be grown in cold climates if managed effectively
Middle Earth Plausibility- High

Peppers (Capsicum. NOT to be confused with peppercorns, which is an expensive old world crop originating in India):
Origin- South America and Central America. Grown in sunny lands with warm, loamy, moist soils (but not waterlogged). Hates frost
Middle Earth Plausibility- High

Tomatoes:
Origin- Central and Western South America. Can be grown in plenty of regions
Middle Earth Plausibility- Low, not because it can't be grown in a lot of places in Middle Earth (it can), but because Tolkien changed tomatoes to pickles in The Hobbit.



Melons-

Squash and Pumpkins:
Origin- Mexico or South America. Can be grown in a lot of regions
Middle Earth Plausibility- Very High



Nuts-

Cashew:
Origin- Northeastern Brazil. Commonly grown in tropical climates. Cannot stand frost
Middle Earth Plausibility- Low

Pecans:
Origin- North America. Commonly grown in warm temperate to sub-tropic climates
Middle Earth Plausibility- High



Other-

Chicle (key ingredient in chewing gum):
Origin- Central America. It is sub-tropical, and does not tolerate frost. Can grow in a variety of soil conditions, however
Middle Earth Plausibility- High

Maple Syrup:
Origin- Northeastern America. Common in temperate regions.
Middle Earth Plausibility- High in places without ents or huorns

Rubber:
Origin- Amazon Rainforest. Has a history of being hard to cultivate even in tropic climates due to things like Blight.
Middle Earth Plausibility- Very Low

Tobacco is confirmed in Middle Earth because of its use in the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings.

Vanilla:
Origin- Mexico. Grown in regions with hot-humid climate with well-drained, high organic loamy soil. Most commonly grown 10-20 degrees from equator, but it actually can be grown in regions like Eastern China and areas in Turkey.
Middle Earth Plausibility- Low