Some scientists believe that the banana is the oldest fruit in the world
There is a belief that the banana is about 10,000 years old, although some scientists believe that bananas are an even older fruit, ie the first fruit in the history of mankind. Banana is a tropical plant that grows today in Africa, America, Southeast and South Asia, Melanesia and the Pacific Islands. This giant tropical plant resembles trees in size. It originates from Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and New Guinea, from where traders brought it to India, Africa and further to Polynesia. The first written traces of bananas are in Buddhist records. They date from the period around 6.00 BC. Records say that Indian traders tasted unusual fruits while traveling through Malaysia. They liked the fruit so they brought the seedlings to India. In India, bananas were discovered by the soldiers of Alexander the Great in 327 BC. It is believed that the famous military leader was responsible for the penetration of bananas into the Western world. Bananas have already conquered China by the year 200. This is the time when bananas are already growing extensively in southern China — according to the records of Chinese historian Yang Fu. ”However, many centuries passed before bananas gained planetary popularity. Bananas were an exotic and foreign fruit until the 20th century.
The bananas we use today have no resemblance to the original wild plant. This original plant had much more numerous, harder and larger seeds and the fruit was not as tasty. Bananas as we know them today appeared in Africa around 650 years ago by crossing two species of wild bananas. Some bananas obtained by this method had fewer seeds. Then they get the look and taste of today. Many historians believe that Arab slave traders are responsible for the current name of this fruit. The original plant originates from Southeast Asia. It was small and up to one human finger long. It was not close to the size of a banana grown today. The word “banana” in Arabic means “finger”. Traders from Arabia, Persia, India and Indonesia spread this fruit throughout the Indian Ocean (except Australia, where bananas arrived around 1800). This expansion took 9 centuries, ie from 5 to 15 centuries. Bananas then conquered the New World from the 16th to the 19th century. Plantations are spreading across South America and the Caribbean.
Today, the most common type of banana is called “cavendish”. The name comes from the Englishman William Spencer Cavendish, ie the 6th Duke of Devonshire. It is said that the original species of cavendish was brought around 1826 from southern China to Mauritius. From there the plants were brought. Governor’s gardener Josef Jackston planted the obtained seedlings in a greenhouse a few years later. From England this species spread all over the world. Around 1900, cavendish became the most popular type of banana. He holds this title to this day. The popularity is due to the fact that it is the most resistant type of immune to fungi. It tastes great and is easy to transport. Some species of bananas are pollinated by bats.
Bananas are an extremely nutritious fruit. They are rich in carbohydrates, vitamin B6, C, potassium, antioxidants. Bananas do not contain fat, salt (sodium) or cholesterol. They are ideal food even for babies because they do not cause allergies. They are easy to digest and are a good source of energy. Bananas give energy immediately, so they are a favorite fruit for children and athletes who replenish their strength during training or competition. Banana is the 4th largest plant in the world by use (after rice, wheat and corn). Today’s largest producers are India, Brazil and China. In Ecuador and Costa Rica, bananas are the basis of exports. There are many types of bananas but people know most yellow bananas. There are exotic “baby” bananas, green guinea bananas (used as potatoes), short and thick mansano bananas. Ripe mansano bananas are black with a taste that is a mixture of strawberry, banana and apple.
Bananas grow on palm trees that can grow up to 10 meters in height. From each stem grows about 10 hands with about 12 fingers (or bananas). Hands bear fruit only once, so they are picked together with bananas. Harvesting takes place 2.5 to 3.5 months after flowering. Bananas must be picked unripe and green even when they are not for export. Eventual cracking of the bark and secretion of juices is a favorable environment for the development of microorganisms. Green fruits are firm but not edible. They are extremely suitable for transport due to their strength.
The term “Banana Republic” – a banana republic is a term for a poor state ruled by a dictator or a small clique, most often as an exhibit of a foreign government that exploits natural resources. This term was most often used to describe Central / Central American countries that were dominated by the United States in the 20th century. This term was first used by the American writer Henry O. In the book “Cabbages and Kings” based on personal experiences from Honduras. The characteristic of the republic’s bananas is the complete dependence of the national economy on one agricultural crop (these were bananas in the case of Central America) which is under the control of foreign companies. The banana republic is also characterized by a sharp division of society into a small upper class as opposed to the majority, wider widespread corruption and complete incompetence of the state self-government. A specific example of the “banana state” is the fate of Guatemala. United Fruit Company is an American giant company in the fruit trade. In the 1950s, the company succeeded in convincing Presidents Truman and Eisenhower that the legally elected president of Guatemala, Jacobo Arbenz Guzman, was pro-Soviet (because he had nationalized unused land in favor of landless peasants). The newly appointed president did not last more than 3 years. His execution was followed by a civil war that lasted 36 years. And all because of the bananas.