Did you know when you purchase a banana you are buying a relic of hegemonic empires? This humble fruit, born of an inedible seed, has been at the epicenter of exploitation for centuries. Cultivated for its delectable fruit, then exploited for its market power, the banana plant and its tumultuous history make for a wild tale much bigger than that peanut butter and banana sandwich you packed for lunch.thousand varieties of bananas in the world, but the most popular by far is the yellow banana commonly found in the grocery store, known as the Cavendish banana. So how did this tropical fruit end up with a distinctly British-sounding name? Simple: After William Cavendish, sixth Duke of Devonshire, received a shipment of the tropical fruit, he had his personal gardener cultivate this variety of banana in the greenhouse, and the rest is history. With over 150 countries producing bananas, they are one of the world’s most popular fruits.
A lot happened before that perfectly ripe yellow banana arrived at your local supermarket. Today, exploitation and disease continue to threaten the banana industry, but how exactly did the banana go from wild botanical berry to a staple in every kid’s lunchbox? We have the answers here:
Angela Carlos is the Cook Editor at The Daily Meal. Find her on Twitter and tweet @angelaccarlos.