First, some banana trivia.

  • The banana “tree” is not really a tree, but a giant herb.  The banana is the fruit of this herb.
  • The cluster of bananas sold in supermarkets is a “hand” of bananas, while the individual bananas on the hand are called fingers.
  • It is believed by many experts that bananas were the first fruit cultivated by humans. Worldwide, bananas are the fourth largest fruit crop.
  • Alexander the Great first came across bananas in India in 327 B.C.
  • Bananas were introduced to the United States at the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Celebration, where they were sold wrapped in foil for 10 cents each.
  • The average American consumes 28 pounds of bananas per year.
  • India is the #1 banana producer in the world.
  • In Uganda, bananas are such a big part of the diet that the same word, matooke, is used for both “food” and “banana.”
  • The pejorative term “banana republic” was coined by American writer O. Henry.  He used it in reference to Honduras, but the term became widely used in reference to any Latin American, Caribbean, or African country that was politically unstable, relied heavily on basic agriculture, and was not technologically advanced.
  • The banana split was invented in 1904 by 23-year-old David Evans Strickler, an employee at the banana wrap 2 Tassel Pharmacy soda fountain in Latrobe, Pennsylvania.

So, why bananas? Actually my favorite breakfast lately has been a delicious banana wrap. It’s a whole wheat tortilla filled with half a banana, sliced,  just under a ¼ cup of part-skim ricotta, ½ teaspoon honey (I probably use a bit more), some cinnamon, and 1 tablespoon chopped almonds (instead of the walnuts in the original recipe). Microwave it on high for  30-40 seconds. Delicious!

And since I was talking about bananas today, I thought I’d try roasted halibut with banana-orange relish for dinner last night. Very yummy, definitely one I’ll make again this summer. You can find the recipe on Kitchen Daily. I didn’t use halibut though, I think I used cod.

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