Is there any difference between peanut and groundnut or do these two words mean the same? To understand the true meaning of peanut and groundnut we'll tell about the popular and delicious oilseeds.
Peanut and groundnut
In a broad sense, groundnut is a big family of different plant oilseeds that combines numerous titles. This word can stand for various types of dry seeds (hard, tasty and oily), including arachis, bambara groundnut, hausa groundnut, peanut, etc.
By saying ‘groundnut’ or adding this term into a meal recipe, you can mean peanuts or other types of nuts or even tuber roots with beans that can be eaten raw, cooked or turned into food supplement for people or animals.
Since groundnuts are extremely popular in Nigeria and all across Africa, we will explain the difference between peanut and groundnut. It is easy to understand once you learn some details about both words.
READ ALSO: How to make groundnut oil at home
Botanical name of groundnut
While many of us use groundnut as a synonym to peanut, the full meaning of groundnuts is much wider. This is a family of different pea plants, and each plant has its own botanical name.
Groundnut is a food plant. It is not exactly a nut. It refers to underground peas because the main oilseed we love to eat so much grows and ripens in the soil, not on the surface.
Here are some most interesting types of groundnut (in the wider sense of this term):
- Peanut or arachis hypogaea
- Geocarpa groundnut or macrotyloma geocarpum
- Bambara nut or vigna subterranean
- Tiger nuts or aya hausa
- Others types of roots, tubers, and oilseeds that grow underground, look hard, small in size and contain oil
Peanut’s botanical name
Peanut represents only one kind of the groundnut’s family. It is a particular type of oilseeds and it has a straightforward meaning, while also carrying a botanical name of arachis hypogaea.
Many people give peanuts different names. These popular nuts covered with a cute pink or brown skin and hidden inside a pod are often called groundnut, monkey nut, earthnut, goober nut, and so on.
READ ALSO: How to make peanuts snack at home
Is there any difference between peanut and groundnut?
Everything depends on the meaning you give to these words. Those of us who enjoy cooking desserts, cakes and other meals with nuts may use peanut and groundnut as synonyms. Those of us who are in love with the particular product and wish to enjoy a particular taste will tell you that difference exists and it is huge.
Thus, there are two ways to explain groundnut/peanut plants:
- You can understand the two words as synonyms for arachis.
- You can call peanut a particular type of groundnuts and treat groundnut as a big family of different pea plants, tubers, and roots.
Major similarities and differences between groundnut family and peanuts:
- Groundnuts often serve as cooking oil or herbal supplements, while peanuts can be eaten raw or fried. However, peanuts can be turned into peanut butter or snacks to be used as a food supplement by humans.
- Peanuts look cute as meal decoration (in cakes, cupcakes, pudding, biscuit, etc.).
- Both are rich in oil and have their own nutritional values.
- Peanut’s shape is cylindrical, while the shape of the groundnut depends on the type of the seed, some of them are circular, and others are cylindrical.
- Though the spelling is different, the two names have a lot in common and are often used interchangeably to describe peanuts.
Now you know the difference between peanut and groundnut. Peanuts are delicious types of groundnuts, and groundnuts usually refers to multiple oilseed plants that can serve different purposes for both people and animals.
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