Have you ever seen a banana tree and its stem? If you?ve then it was not on this planet for sure. Dear children, botanically a banana plant is a herb and not a tree. Besides its stem is stashed underground in the form of a corm / rhizome and is not a vertical one. What you see is merely a pseudostem, a false stem.
Bananas first grew in India and China followed by Palestine and later in Africa. They were taken to the Caribbean'sin 1500s.
Bananas became popular in the US in 1876. It was after being exhibited at the Centennial Exposition, Philadelphia along with Alexander Graham Bell'sfirst phone demonstration at the same event and venue, bananas became popular.
Worldwide production exceeds 72.5 million metric tons every year with India being the proud nation producing 16.8 million tons followed by Brazil producing 6.7 million tons.
Though a tropical fruit, it is extensively grown in Europe, including Spain, Portugal, Cyprus and Italy.
Banana flowers are also known as banana blossom or banana heart. They are used to prepare exquisite cuisines in Bengal and Kerala; sometimes stems are also used.
Now you know perhaps why ?dessert? banana has earned the name Musa Paradisica.
(The writer is a freelance journalist and can be contacted at [email protected])
(To be continued)