Updated: Sep 11, 2019
The most nutritious Indian fruit you never know. There are many fruits that has its origin to India but this fruit's origin is unknown to mankind.
Banana is one of the oldest known fruit in the history. It is mentioned in the mythology that the great Human had an extensive plantation of Plantain! The ripe fruits are presented to deities in temples as special offerings from immemorial times.
It is believed that the home of Banana is Assam, Burma, Indo China and other parts of East Asia. Wild varieties are seen in the western Ghats of the Indian peninsula. The largest number of varieties are found today in Kerala.
It spread to the west through trade and commerce first by the Arabs who considered banana as a "paradise tree"! Early in the 16th century a priest named Father Tomas de Berlanga took some chunks of rhizome to the Americas. He hoped to win over the original inhabitants of region with mellow, golden fruit and convert them to Christianity. From the few chunks to rhizome so introduced developed all the thousands of acres of banana plantations which now exists in the tropical regions of the Americas!
The family Musaceae consists of several genera. The plants are all treelike in form. The stout trunks are encased in the stems of large leaves which rise from the base of the plant. Each parts produce only one fruit. Fully ripe fruits are the most nutritious and most easily digested fruits. It ranks in the amount of carbohydrates, proteins and calories.
The leading banana producers are Ecuador, Honduras, Costa Rica, Brazil and other countries. Most cultivated varieties have lost power of producing seeds. It is the largest plant in existence without a wood system.
Banana cultivation is extensive in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka etc. There are 14 species under cultivation. A great majority belong to Eumusa variety. Nendran is the leading commercial variety while poovan and champa are also equally popular.