The banana is a tropical fruit that has been cultivated for human consumption for thousands of years. It is a popular and healthy fruit that is available in both desert (the common yellow types of banana) and green cooking bananas. But, where do bananas come from? This article will answer that question and take a look at some of the other interesting facts about bananas.
Where do bananas come from?
Bananas have been domesticated for thousands of years and are native to south-east Asia. Recent evidence suggests they were first domesticated in Papua New Guinea sometime around 5000-8000 BC. This was followed by a separate domestication in other parts of South East Asia. There is also evidence of domestication in Africa dating from about the 6th century.
Today, wild bananas can be found in New Guinea, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. Domestic banana growing now extends to over 107 countries with the top producers being India, China, Philippines, Brazil, Ecuador and Indonesia. Each year there are about 73 million metric tons of bananas produced all around the world.
Interesting facts about bananas
- Most of us know that ripe bananas are yellow, but they also come in purple and red.
- People with a latex allergy may also be allergic to bananas.
- Bananas are considered to be very healthy and contain good levels of vitamin B6, vitamin C, and potassium.
- The original wild bananas contained large seeds.
- Today bananas are picked when they are green and unripe. They are then stored and exposed to ethylene gas to assist in the ripening process. They have a different taste to the tree ripened fruit.