10 Things You Didn’t Know About Bananas

July 21, 2011 § Leave a comment

This is an interesting artlicle about Bananas.  Ecuador is a country bananas for bananas!  Whether eaten raw, as chifles, patacones or bolon verdes Ecuadorians love bananas and they can be found growing all over the country.  Travel along the coast of Ecuador and you’ll encounter mile after mile of Bananas. You’ll find them in the jungle at Haciendas in the highlands as well as in the Galapagos Islands when driving up to the highlands of Santa Cruz to see giant tortoises you’ll see bananas.

By Heather Lovejoy at Jacksonville.com

Jacksonville is bananas for bananas. Consumers here eat so many that Dole Fresh Fruit has bestowed on us the title “Top Banana City.” But how much do you really know about bananas?

1. They’re naturally radioactive, but it’s no big deal. We’re exposed to low levels of natural radiation every day; it’s even emitted by our bodies. So it’s OK to keep eating bananas, radiation and all.

2. Bananas are berries. Botanically speaking, “berry” is defined as a fruit produced from a single ovary, so bananas are in the same category as grapes, cranberries and tomatoes. But botanically, strawberries and blueberries aren’t berries.

3. They don’t grow on trees. What is usually referred to as a banana tree is actually a plant – specifically, a large herb.

4. Most bananas eaten in the United States are of the Cavendish variety, which is in danger of being wiped out by an untreatable disease, TR4, according to a University of Florida researcher.

5. Banana beer is popular in Africa. Ripe bananas are peeled, juiced, mixed with sorghum or millet flour and fermented to create an orange alcoholic drink. There’s also Wells Banana Bread Beer brewed in England, and the alcohol content is 5.2 percent.

6. Why do people say, “Is that a banana in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?” The phrase is widely credited to Mae West, but her version involved no bananas. Supposedly, in real life in the 1930s, what she said to either a Los Angeles police officer or an interviewer was, “Is that a gun in your pocket, or are you just glad to see me?” Or maybe she said “pistol.” The only time she said it on screen was in her last movie, “Sextette,” but she said, “pleased.”

7. Ecuador is the world’s largest exporter of bananas, followed by Costa Rica and the Philippines. The United States is the largest importer.

8. Bananas grow in jungles, right? Yes, as well as in Iceland. The banana plant is a tropical species, but Iceland has so much geothermic energy that greenhouses (and homes) can be heated with it. Thanks to all its volcanos, Iceland has enough free heat to produce a significant amount of bananas to distribute within the country.

9. Edible bananas were first grown as far back as the third century B.C. in the Indo-Malaysian region that reaches to Northern Australia. Historical evidence suggests they didn’t make it to Europe until the 10th century.

10. A cluster of bananas is officially called a “hand,” and each banana is a “finger.” That may be because the word “banana” is thought to be derived from the Arabic word “banaan,” which means “finger” or “fingertips.”

 
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