Feasting Florida

Enjoying a sustainable, organic, lifestyle indulging in all Florida's Cuisines throughout the seasons

Bananas


Bananas

Bananas are an herb that grows on a tropical plant. A banana is not a true fruit, however, because it contains no seeds. It is botanically classified as an herb because of the non-woody stem. It produces flowers, but they are sterile also. The plant only has a one year growing span.

Bananas probably originated in Malaysia, then into India around the 5th or 6th century BC. In Buddhism, the banana is the symbol of futility of earthly possessions. The banana is also one of the supposed forbidden fruit of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.

The banana tree produces a purplish flower. This flower grows into a bunch.

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One bunch, of hand of bananas may contain anywhere from 100- 400 bananas. The bananas develop better flavors off the bush, so they are usually picked green. The brown spots on the bananas are a sign of ripeness. If you need to ripen a banana quickly, place it in a paper bag, and fold it close. The gases let off by the banana will collect in the bag, and speed up the ripening process. Banana leaves are also used to wrap food in to be steam or baked. They can be used for cloth, and for furniture.

There are three varieties of bananas: sweet, cooking, plantains. Some common varieties of bananas include the dwarf/ finger banana. It is very sweet. The Manzano is apple flavored. Mypore comes from India. Orinoco has a hint of strawberry. The plantain is a variety of cooking banana that has a squash like flavor. It has high starch content, and can only be eaten cooked. There are also red and purple bananas.

The “strings” on the banana fruit are called phloem bundles- which are nothing but the way the peel attaches to the flesh. You can eat them, though are displeasing in texture. The flesh of the banana can break into three sections.

Today, the main producers of bananas are India, Brazil, the Philippines, Ecuador, and Indonesia.

Bananas contain a lot of starch. They are also rich in potassium. Bananas contain vitamins B6 and C, potassium, folic acid, riboflavin, and magnesium. It can also be a mild laxative.