Fascinating Banana Facts

Go Bananas with these 35 Amazing Banana Facts

Bananas have an uncanny way of capturing everyone’s imagination. So much has been researched and written about bananas - from stories, to joke and even cartoons.

Here are some interesting and fun banana facts from around the world.

  • The banana peel contains the finest natural lubricant known to man. You can use the inside of a banana peel to polish patent leather shoes.

  • The earliest dessert recipe ever written was a banana recipe - a mushy mixture of bananas, almonds, and honey.

  • Most bananas are grown in hot, humid tropical countries, but some bananas are grown in Iceland in soil heated by hot warm geysers.

  • In the Christian Bible, the forbidden fruit in the earthly paradise was the apple, but in Hinduism, it was the banana.

  • There are in excess of 500 banana varieties in the world. They come in all shapes and sizes, from small finger fruits to purple plantains.

  • Bananas don't grow on trees. They're actually a giant herb.

  • The phrase going bananas was first recorded in the Oxford English Dictionary because of the banana's connection with monkeys.

  • Bananas are harvested green because they keep ripening even after they are picked.

  • The scientific name for banana is musa sapientum, which means Fruit of the Wise Men.

  • Bananas are the world's best-selling fruit, outranking the apple and orange.

  • India is the largest producer and consumer with estimated production of 16 million tonnes of bananas annually. India's domestic production alone exceeds the entire world trade.

  • A man in India once ate 81 bananas in a half an hour.

  • One of the first records of bananas dates back to Alexander The Great's conquest of India where he first discovered bananas in 327 B.C.

  • Reindeers like eating bananas.

  • Bananas are one of the few foods to contain the 6 major vitamin groups.

  • If you peel a banana from the bottom up you won't get the string things.

  • Those stringy things are called phloem (pronounced FLOM).

  • The sap of the fe’i banana is reddish in color and was once used by missionaries to make copies of the Bible by dipping bamboo pens in the red sap.

  • In the former Belgian Congo European soldiers during colonial times used the sap from the banana plant to heal wounds made by arrows of the natives.

  • The word banana comes from an Arab word “banan” meaning finger.

  • An individual banana is called a finger. A bunch of bananas is called a hand.

  • Angel Castro, Father of Fidel Castro, was a banana plantation owner. When young, Fidel tended the bananas on his father’s 10,000 acre estate.

  • Bananas are a very rich source of vitamin B6, which your brain needs to function properly and make you wise.

  • Some banana trees continue producing up to one hundred years, although most banana plantations renew their stock every ten to twenty-five years.

  • The banana plant reaches its full height of 15 to 30 feet in about one year. The trunk of a banana plant is made of sheaths of overlapping leaves, tightly wrapped around each other like celery stalks.

  • In the 15th and 16th centuries, Europeans knew the banana as the "Indian Fig".

  • If your kids have a tough time falling asleep, give them a banana. Like a cup of warm milk, a banana is a sleep enhancer.

  • Bananas were often given to immigrants at Ellis Island who had never seen the tropical fruit before and ate it peel and all.

  • The average American eats 12kg of bananas every year, and the average Australian eats almost 15kg of bananas every year.

  • The white tube at the very heart of the trunk of a banana "tree" can be cooked into a treat similar to bamboo shoots.

  • Brisbane holds the world record for the longest banana split ever made - a giant 7.3 km long!.

  • In Eastern Africa you can buy banana beer. This beer is brewed from bananas.

  • In 2001, there were more than 300 banana-related accidents in Britain, most involving people slipping on skins.

  • As bananas ripen, the starch in the fruit turns to sugar. Therefore, the riper the banana the sweeter it will taste.

  • In South East Asia, the banana leaf is used to wrap food (in the place of plastic bags and cling wraps), providing a unique flavor and aroma to nasi lemak and the Indian banana leaf rice.

Come back often by registering for more wonderful banana facts.

Banana Recipes
Banana Breads
Banana Muffins
Banana Cookies
Banana Puddings, Pies & Scones
Banana Pancakes
Banana Cakes - Western & Asian
Banana Salads, Jellos & Terrines
Banana Fritters & Chips
Banana Enzymes
Fun Banana Recipes for Kids

Banana Facts & Information
Banana History
Banana Nutrition

Besides these fascinating banana facts, learn about about the wonders of eating bananas.

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    No Fuss Chocolate Banana Cake
    I made this one vegan for my niece and it was truly amazing! About to make it again for my in-laws and can't wait to eat some!
    Karen, December 2011

    Vietnamese Banana Cake
    I am not a good baker AT ALL....but this was easy, delicious and I will make it again for sure!!! Happy Baking!
    Valarie, Dec 2011

    Wholemeal Banana Coconut Cake
    Great recipe beautiful cake and a hit with my kids. Thanks!
    Hayley, April 2011

    Scrumptious Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
    These muffins are absolutely beautiful! Who knew sour cream would make the muffins so good! Definitely a new family favourite :)
    Megan Fry, December 2010

    Banana Oatmeal Muffins
    Usually my muffins don't turn out that well, but these were AMAZING!. So soft and fluffy, and VERY yummy. Only problem now is that I have eaten too many :-)
    Helen Brown, November 2010

    Easy Banana Bread
    Great recipe! I had two ripe bananas at home and wanted to use them right away, so I searched for ideas on the Internet. I found this recipe and decided to give it a try. Since I only had two bananas, I used only half of every ingredient (I added a dash of cinnamon) and baked it for half the time, too! It was so delicious!
    Jay, December 2011
    Definitely easy, fast, moist and delumptious! Thank you
    Virginia, December 2011
    Lovely site I must say! when i found this recipe I thought "this is too good to be true", when I saw the comments I was like "yeah right, these are so not real". But I tried this recipe and trust me, I have NO regrets! awesome!!!! If you don't have baking soda, like I did, use two teaspoons of baking powder
    Eonique B., September 2011
    The cake (bread) is so yum I make nearly every month
    Sara, September 2011
    Thanks so much for the easy banana bread recipe. I've made other recipes but yours is by far the quickest and easiest.
    Felicity, August 2011
    Super easy, super yummy! I love this banana bread recipe. Thanks for sharing!:D
    Jess, June 2011
    Thank you for posting this recipe. The best banana bread recipe ever. My kids loved it and my work colleague loved it too. I can just eat the whole lot myself. So easy to make as well.
    Thuy Do, February 2011
    Love it! Cant believe how easy it was and what a beautiful cake it makes! Easy enough for my kids to do and so professional looking and tasting! Even our fussiest banana bread lover loved it!! VERY impressed!! A++++
    Daggy Shaggs, February 2011
    Excellent! This would have to be the most delicious and moist banana cake ever! I used wholemeal flour instead and it was still unbelievably moist. Also, I baked it for 50 mins instead, then left to cool and that helped make it more moist yet not undercooked. This has now become a firm family favourite, thankyou!.
    Hannah Wilson, January 2011

    Buttery Banana Cookies
    I'm a 12 year old girl who just loves cooking and I was trying to find an easy banana cookie recipe.. And then I found this! I added some chocolate chips just to make it taste better, but it already tasted amazing. It was all gone in 1 day! Thanks a lot.
    Lisa, December 2011
    This might be my new favorite recipe! Plain, they are like mini, takealong banana bread bites! Delicious! Then I got creative, and dipped them in semisweet chocolate, then pressed a walnut on top and now they are an elegant cookie! I wowed my friends at our cookie exchange this year, but little did they know how simple it was! Thank you for the best kept secret I'll ever have in my kitchen!
    Kasai, Dec 2011

    Chinese Style Steamed Banana Cake
    My Australian neighbour said, this banana cake can go for competition, it's moist, light, white and beautiful.
    Miki Hung, February 2011
    This was a very delicious,chewy filling and healthy desert that everybody enjoyed. even without the eggs which i forgot...it came out great!!!!
    Sahana Srikanth, January 2011
    Wow - this worked like a charm even with a makeshift steamer.
    Linda Fraser, September 2010

    Easy Banana Pudding
    Was craving for some pudding and tried your recipe. It was incredibly easy and good. I also added lots of bananas to the pudding. Wow - heaven!
    Jean Rice, July 2010

    Classic Chocolate Banana Cake
    Even though I forgot the eggs, it was still so delicious and it wasn't to sweet! All you busy banana and chocolate lovers will love it cause it's easy, quick, and tastes great!
    Amp, July 2011
    Awesome - loved by my whole family!!
    Kaz Van Hees, July 2010

    Rich Buttery Banana Bread
    Great easy recipe but I used brown sugar this time instead of castor as it was all I had, and wow it was sensational!
    Sal Shepherd, December 2010

    Sour Cream Banana Bread
    Turned out lovely and moist. Was a hit with everyone. I added walnuts for a bit of texture. Thanks for the recipe!!
    Hilda Ruaine, January 2011