1. Banana

Bananas are the fruit of Musa acuminata. Acuminata means long-pointed or tapering, not referring to
the fruit, but to the flowers giving birth to the fruit.
Antonius Musa was the personal physician to Roman emperor Octavius Augustus, and it was he
who was credited for promoting cultivation of the exotic African fruit from 63 to 14 B.C.
Portugese sailors brought bananas to Europe from West Africa in the early fifteenth century.
Its Guinean name banema, which became banana in English, was first found in print in the
seventeenth century.
The original banana has been cultivated and used since ancient times, even pre-dating the
cultivation of rice. While the banana thrived in Africa, its origins are said to be of East Asia and
The banana was carried by sailors to the Canary Islands and the West Indies, finally making it to
North America with Spanish missionary Friar Tomas de Berlanga.
Sweet bananas are mutants
These historical bananas were not the sweet yellow banana we know today, but the red and green
cooking variety, now usually referred to as plantains to distinguish them from the sweet type.
The yellow sweet banana is a mutant strain of the cooking banana, discovered in 1836 by Jamaican
Jean Francois Poujot, who found one of the banana trees on his plantation was bearing yellow fruit
rather than green or red.
Upon tasting the new discovery, he found it to be sweet in its raw state, without the need for cooking.
He quickly began cultivating this sweet variety.
Soon they were being imported from the Caribbean to New Orleans, Boston, and New York, and
were considered such an exotic treat, they were eaten on a plate using a knife and fork.


The wild mango originated in the foothills of the Himalayas in India and Burma. The first group of
people to spill the beans and initiate trade of the fruit were peripatetic Buddhist monks four or five
centuries BC.
The mango was cultivated in Java at least as early as AD 900-1100, when the temple at Borobudur
was built and faced with carvings of the Buddha in contemplation under a mango tree.
The Chinese traveler Hwen Tsang, who visited India during the first half of the seventh century AD,
brought the mango home with him to China.
One theory holds that mangoes first reached Africa by way of Persia in the tenth century. Traders
from Portugal introduced mangoes to Brazil in the 1700s and to Barbados in 1742. From there,
mangoes then began popping up all over the world.
The cultivation of the fruits began in Mogul, India, where the fruit is still considered sacred and is
thought to have aphrodisiac effects. In the 16th century, a special technique employing grafting was
developed for propagating the mango.
As early as the sixteenth century, the name ‘mangas’ was used for the mango in the Greek Work,
‘Colloquies on Simples and Drugs of India’. The earliest mentioned of mango tree, Mangifera indica,
which means ‘the great fruit bearer’, is found in Hindu scriptures dating back to 4000 BC.
The mango is a member of the Anachardiaceae family which includes poison ivy, cashews, and
pistachios. It is also known as manga, mangga, mangot, mangou, and mangue in other parts of the
The mango comes in over 50 varieties, ranging in color from greenish, yellowish, to reddish, often
tinged with purple, pink, orange-yellow, or red

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