Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tasty Nana

Welcome to Ba-Nana-Rama!


Young Bananas as landscaping.
It is believed by many experts that bananas
 were the first fruit cultivated by humans.

"Time flies like an arrow;
 fruit flies like a banana”
 Groucho Marx 

In 1870 a fishing boat captain named Lorenzo Dow Baker
imported the first 160 bunches of bananas into the US.
They were Gros Michels from Jamaica.
By 1910, American's enjoyed 40 million bunches per year.

Here we see the young, whole leaves (like in the shot at top), 
and how the wind "fringes" then
 as in the older plant at the top of this shot.

Alexander the Great
 introduced bananas to the west in 327 B.C.E.
They originated in India, China & Southeast Asia.

The banana "tree" is not really a tree, but a giant variety 

of grasses, and the world's largest herb.

 The banana is the fruit of this herb.

What other food offers you it's hand in friendship?
The flower (shown) is the source of herbal medicine.

In the late 1920s a disease began wiping out
 the Gros Michel plantations.
So in the 1940s the industry switched
 to the Cavendish variety.
This variety had been collected by Cavendish
 in a private garden in Southern China
during the previous century.
  A successor plant 
in the greenhouse of England's
Duke of Devonshire is the progenitor of all of today's commercial crop.
Too bad the Cavendish bruises easier than the
Gros Michel did (no throwing them in the hold of ships. Now packaging is needed).  
And to anyone who knew the Gros Michel
today's Cavendish lacks taste and texture.

 The "trunk" is really a bark-less 
made only of the leaves waiting to unfold,
as you can see here. .

"You don't want
 your credibility banana to turn brown. . . " 

Bradley Whitford 

Don't break the bananas!

The cluster of bananas sold in supermarkets
 is a "hand" of bananas,
 while the individual bananas on the hand are called fingers.

"Never interrupt me when I'm eating a banana."

Ryan Stiles

The song "Yes, We Have No Bananas" was released in 1923
 and became a huge hit. It refers to the banana shortage at the time.
("Fruit Blight Costs Millions. . . No Remedy is Available"
New York Times, 1927)

In 2001, Britain recorded 300 incidents of injuries related to bananas.
 The majority of these involved people slipping on banana peels.

Hawaii "Apple Bananas that grow in our yards & farms.

"I'd go a long way for a good banana."
Whoopie Goldberg

Bananas were popularized in the United States at the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Celebration, where they were sold wrapped in foil for 10 cents each.
Worldwide, bananas are the fourth largest fruit crop.
The average American consumes 28 pounds of bananas per year.
The banana peel is edible, though perhaps not very palatable unless cooked.
About 50 percent of people who are allergic to latex are often also allergic to bananas.
India is the #1 banana producer in the world.

How do YOU eat a banana?
Most peel from the stem end.
Monkeys hold the stem,
pinch the black tip
and peel it down.
Each bite is sweeter,
approaching the stem-end
(where we usually start).

I think the monkeys have something on us!

           Go Bananas!  cloudia