Bananas

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2 Pounds of "Fair Trade" bananas from Peru. The color of the bananas are usually yellow with a bit of green at the tip.

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Banana plants have been in cultivation since the time of recorded history. One of the first records of bananas dates back to Alexander the Great's conquest of India where he discovered bananas in 327 B.C.

In some lands bananas were considered the principal food. Early travelers and settlers would carry the roots of the plant as they migrated. When Spanish explorers came to the New World, so did the banana. In 1516, Friar Tomas de Berlanga sailed to the Caribbean bringing banana roots with him; and planted bananas in the rich, fertile soil of the tropics, thus beginning the banana's future in American life.

Bananas were officially introduced to the American public at the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition. Before that time, bananas came to America on the decks of sailing ships as sailors took a few stems home after traveling in the Caribbean. In the late 1870's, with the invention of the telegraph and the development of the Central American railroads, the banana industry finally took shape.

About Bananas The most commonly known banana is the Cavendish variety, which is the one produced for export markets. Red bananas have a purple peel and are best used for baking. Plantains are generally larger than other banana varieties, and are usually fried, baked, or mashed before eating.

Bananas are America's #1 fruit. They are a good source of vitamin C, potassium and dietary fiber. One banana has 15% of the vitamin C, 11% of the potassium, and 16% of the dietary fiber needed each day for good health. Bananas are great for athletic and fitness activities because they replenish necessary carbohydrates, glycogen and body fluids burned during exercise.

Ripening Bananas are one of the few fruits that ripen best off the plant. As bananas ripen, the starch in the fruit turns to sugar. Therefore, the riper the banana the sweeter it will taste.

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