Facts About Bananas

The banana plant is actually a herb and will produce only one bunch of bananas before it dies. Suckers grow from the main stump to produce further bunches.

Bananas contain no fat, cholesterol or sodium and is 75% water.

The origin of the banana can be traced back to South-East Asia.

Bananas for domestic consumption are cut when the fruit is still green.

Clusters of bananas grow pointing upwards, not down.

Some argue that the banana was the first fruit on earth and dates as far back as a million years.

There are about 400 varieties of bananas.

The banana belongs to the same family as lilies, orchids and palms.

The word banana is derived from the Arabic meaning 'finger'.

The banana industry in Australia is over 100 years old and began in Queensland (just like the mangoes). It was believed the Chinese were the first to grow them in the 1870's.

Brazil is the leading banana producer.

Bananas are America's number one fruit with nearly two million tons of bananas are imported into the United States each year.

It is the mauve flower of the herb which develops into bananas. The banana plant flower is self pollinating.

One of the most popular festivals in Thailand, is the Loy Krathong Festival held in November. It is celebrated on the night of the full moon, when the river is high. One of the highlights of the festival is "to float a Krathong," a vessel made of banana leaves. Each vessel contains a candle, some flowers and coins, which is then floated on the river.

Each year in Kamphaeng, the province of Changwat (Thailand), holds a banana festival. Also in Thailand is the Kluai Khai Fair which is held every September in honour of the local banana industry. The festival includes banana cooking competitions and a lot of singing and dancing.

In Queensland, Australia the Tweed Valley Banana Festival has been running for over 48 years and celebrates the growing of bananas in the Tweed Valley area. The festival features cattle dog trials, cooking demonstrations, wood chopping and the crowning of the Banana Festival Queen. The finale of the festival is a grand fireworks display.

If you eat bananas you are more likely to be a target for mosquitoes.

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