1. If your bananas are taking a painstakingly long time to ripen, place them in a paper bag, in a warm dry area (but not in direct sunlight) to encourage ripening. If there is still not enough yellow appearing on the peel, place a ripe apple in the bag with the bananas.
2. Bananas contain around 75% water!
3. Bananas are also one of the highest food sources of potassium, an essential mineral that maintains fluid balance and acid-base balance in the body’s cells.
4. A row of bananas is often called a “hand”, while a single banana is called a “finger”.
5. Did you know that monkeys peel bananas from the bottom? Try it! Gently squeeze the tip of the end until it splits open!
6. If you peel a banana from the bottom up like a monkey, you won’t get those stringy things. These strings are called “phloem” (pronounced FLOM).
7. India is the world’s leading producer of bananas.
8. Bananas are one of the few foods to contain the six major vitamin groups. (Talk about a “super” food – wow!)
9. Did you know bananas, apples and watermelons float in water?
10. Plantains and bananas are NOT the same thing! Plantains are bigger than bananas, are tougher and more firm and contain less sugar. They have to be cooked before eating, compared to bananas which we eat raw. In general, because of their high starch content, plantains are treated more as a vegetable opposed to a fruit, like their banana cousins.
11. The type of banana you see in the supermarket is called a Cavendish banana. The preferred variety was originally the Gros Michel, which became extinct around 1960, thanks to a fungus called Panama disease. Cavendish bananas are resistant to the strain of Panama disease!
12. The scientific name for banana is “musa sapientum”, which mean fruit of the wise men. (So does that mean eating a banana will make me wise? Hmm….)