The most popular fresh fruit in the USA. The popularity of them continues to climb. I bet there are a few things on this list here that you did not know about bananas.
1. Cloned Food
Most we eat today that grow on trees are propagated and cloned from other plants. There is no seed to plant. The tree is a perennial herb.
2. You Grandparents Had Different Ones
The ones your grandparents ate were probably the Gros Michel banana. The Gros Michel was the most popular aspect of banana for many years until the Panama Disease wiped it off the map. Today we eat the Cavendish which is not the most popular banana breed. The Gros Michel and the Cavendish not only look different, but they also taste different.
3. Lack of Genetic Diversity
The Gros Michel died off because of disease. There was not enough genetic diversity in the fruit. The Gros Michel breed that we eat today is also experiencing the same difficulties. The lack of genetic diversity in the Cavendish Banana will eventually expose it to disease and then a different breed of banana will become popular.
4. Black Sigatoka
The industry is well-aware of the genetic diversity problem so it has developed the Goldfinger which is disease resistant to Black Sigatoka. Black Sigatoka is a disease that affects and kills and they are not genetically diverse are much more prone to develop Black Sigatoka. Black Sigatoka may be the reason that Cavendish are eventually wiped out and the replacement for the Cavendish versions may very well be the Goldfinger. The Goldfinger is a short and stubby version and generally will reach a maximum length of 6-8 inches.
Goldfinger are short and stubby but there are some breeds that are 12 inches or longer when mature. These foot-long bananas can be found growing in South America. The foot long bananas were talked about in the book Banana: The Fate of the Fruit That Changed the World.
6. Holding Stand
Amazon Price: $30.19 $15.95 Buy Now
(price as of May 11, 2015)
The patent for the banana holding stand was approved in 1989. Dennis Beckwith was the inventor of the ornamental banana holding stand.
7. Lead Extraction from Water
Minced banana peel has been shown to help remove the build-up of lead and other heavy metals. If you water at home is loaded with lead then you should move to a new area or replace your pipes. It will not help you out much at home but heavy metal removal with minced peels could become very popular within industrial settings because the minced banana peels are not only safer than other chemical based extractions, but also much more effective if done properly.
8. Leaves for China
It is common in many Countries to use the large banana peels as a plate for their food. Why buy expensive China or cheap Chinette paper plates when you can use large inverted leaves? Banana leaves are not common in the United States but that is because we do not grow bananas on a large scale.
9. Praying For Vanilla?
There is a breed called the Praying Hands. The Praying Hands simply look s like an exotic ornamental banana but if you separate each “finger” of this banana then you will find a white fruit with a strong vanilla taste. If you like vanilla then you cannot go wrong with eating these. Think of them as a naturally growing Nilla Wafer!
The ones we eat today are seedless varieties that have to be propagated artificially. All breeds of bananas are thought to be offshoots of 2 varieties of bananas, the Musa acuminata and Musa balbisiana. Although we typically do not eat bananas with seeds, you can still find numerous varieties that grow with seeds in them.