Fun Facts You May Not Know About Bananas

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1) More bananas are sold than any other fruit in the United States.

2) 96% of American households purchase bananas at least once a month!

3) The average American consumes 28 pounds of bananas per year.

4) There is no such thing as a banana tree - they grow on plants. They are actually giant herbs in the same family as lilies, orchids, and palms.

5) The banana plant does not grow from seeds. It actually grows from a rhizome (bulb). The rhizomes sprout new shoots each year until the plant dies. Only two shoots, known as the daughter and granddaughter, are allowed to grow and be cultivated from the main plant.

6) When ten or more bananas grow on a single stem they are known as a hand. Individual bananas, it follows, are called fingers. Bananas are generally sold in clusters of four to six in the store.

7) Bananas originally came from the Malaysian jungles. From there they migrated to the Middle East and Africa, and were eventually transported to the Canary Islands and the Americas.

8) A stem of bananas is generally composed of nearly 15 hands, or 150 fingers, weighing in at an average of 85 to 100 pounds.

9) Bananas are unusual in that they taste best when allowed to ripen off the plant. Bananas are picked when they are still a hard green, and generally are shipped to stores when the are light green with 25-50% yellow. Most people prefer to eat their bananas when they are yellow with green tips or fully yellow.

10) Green tipped bananas are considered to be the best for cooking side dishes with. When they are yellow with brown flecks or riper they are great for using in breads, cookies, and shakes, but are generally too soft and sweet for cooking.

11) The banana plant reaches its height of 15 to 30 feet after just one year! A flowering stalk emerges from the top of the plant, and a large bud grows downward from the tip of the stalk. When the leaves around that bud unfold, you'll find banana blossoms, which eventually become banana fruit.

12) Florida is the leading producer of bananas for the United States. Bananas are grown in the United States, but only Hawaii gets enough rainfall and has the required 80 degree year round temperature to allow them to be a viable commercial crop.

13) In 327 BC Alexander the Great described the fruit during one of his conquests. Alexander the Great conquered parts of India in 327 BC and "discovered" bananas. Archaeological record clearly indicates that the banana had been cultivated well before that, but his is thought to be the first written record of this delightful fruit.

14) The banana was first introduced to the U.S. at the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition, where it was wrapped in foil and sold for ten cents a piece. Unlike nearly everything else, its value has remained relatively untouched by inflation. Most bananas sell for about 25 cents each today. Bananas could be found before 1876 in America as they made the trip back with sailors from the Caribbean.

15) The inside of the banana peel is actually a great leather shoe polish! The banana - good to eat, kill people withm, and so much more. 

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