The seed pod of the Abelmoschus esculentus plant. It is long and thin in shape. Okra contains many seeds inside the pod.
Most likely Africa. Both Ethiopia and Egypt are reported for origin.
Okra was most likely brought to the Americas with enslaved Africans during the Middle Passage trade in the 1500s.
Culinary historian, Michael Twitty wrote, “In mainland North America, okra was one of the ultimate symbols of the establishment of the enslaved community as a culinary outpost of West Africa.”
New Oxford Book of Food Plants by John Vaughan et al. (2009)
“A Southern Staple Born of Violence: A Brief History of Okra” from Friedman Sprout (2019) https://friedmansprout.com/2019/12/02/a-southern-staple-born-of-violence-a-brief-history-of-okra
“What is Okra?” by Cynthia Nelson (2020) https://www.thespruceeats.com/using-okra-2138096