Introducing the Banana
June 5, 1876 - It was on this day at Philadelphia's Centennial Exhibition, that Americans got their first taste of the modern banana.
The exotic delicacy was wrapped in foil and cost 10 cents a pop. Not cheap for 1876.
The yellow banana that is now a common staple in kitchens around the world is actually a sterile mutant. It's the result of an accidental breeding between red and green strains of cooking bananas.
A Jamaican plantation owner named Jean Francois Poujot made the discovery in 1836. As he walked through his groves of red and green bananas he came across the oddball yellow variety. He was amazed to find that this new type of fruit was sweet in its natural state and didn't require cooking. Soon, it was the only banana he was growing.
Since it produces no seeds, bananas have to have to propogated with cuttings from a mature plant.
Nowadays, over 95 million tons of bananas are grown and sold each year.