The Most Amazing Thing You’ll Read This Century*

Posted: April 17, 2017 in Food, Fun Facts, History, Politics
Tags: ,

*Not really, but I knew a lot of people wouldn’t click on a link about bananas, and this blog is about bananas. It’s a banana blog. However, since you’re here you might as well stick around, right? After all, Shoe:Untied prides itself on its eclecticism. It also prides itself in using words like eclecticism. Full Disclosure: I originally typed eclecticness but spell check kept telling me I was dumb. But seriously, stick around. On to the bananas…

Bananas, man. Did you know they’re consistently the #1 selling item at Walmart superstores? True story. Bananas have been around the USA forever, true?

False.

Americans were first introduced to bananas in 1873. Think about that, man. Abe Lincoln never had a banana. That’s wild.

Anywho, author Jules Verne introduced bananas to us in his novel Around the World in 80 Days, which was eventually turned into a movie starring Jose′ Greco but that’s neither here nor there. In the book, Verne described bananas as being “as healthy as bread and as succulent as cream.” Perhaps an overstatement but people were intrigued, man.

Fun Fact:  The scientific name for banana is musa sapientum, which means “fruit of the wise men.” Cool. Plus banana is way more fun to say.

Bananas were originally from Asia but were brought to Central America by the Spanish along with smallpox, measles, mumps, whooping cough, influenza, chicken pox, typhus, and oh yes, slavery. Good times.

Actually some people from our country had eaten bananas, but very, very few. Why, you ask? Because it took too long for them to get here and they would go bad. Of course that all changed later with steamships and airplanes and whatnot, and by then we could all enjoy the wonder that is the banana.

There was a downside, of course. The big banana companies used the governments of the countries where the bananas were grown for their own good, manipulating and bribing the politicians, organizing coups, and exploiting their workers. Basically, the companies stunted the country’s growth and cultivated a corrupt form of so-called capitalism. A lot of the problems in places like Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Honduras still continue today. Sad really. On a related note, that’s where we got the term  “Banana Republic” which is defined as ” A small country, especially one in Central America or the West Indies, that is dependent on a single export commodity (traditionally bananas) and that has a corrupt, dictatorial government.”

Random thought: Are Banana Republic stores still a thing? I haven’t seen one in awhile.

Before you go, take a look at this awesome banana trivia:

  • Rubbing the inside of a banana peel on a mosquito bite or on poison ivy will help keep it from itching and getting inflamed.
  • Rubbing the inside of a banana peel on a scrape or burn will help the pain go away, keep the swelling down, and keep the wound from getting infected.
  • Bananas don’t actually grow on trees—they grow on plants that are officially classified as an herb. They’re in the same family as lilies, orchids, and palms, and are actually berries.
  • The band Bananarama had a #1 hit song with “Venus” in 1986. Thought I’d throw that in there.

So now you know more about bananas than you did 5-minutes ago. Your life has been enriched ways you never have imagined when you awakened from your slumber this morning. You’re welcome.

PS- On a personal note, is it odd that I like to eat a banana but I hate anything banana flavored or anything with bananas in it? The world is a vast, complex and confusing place, man.

PPS- Next up, my Beet blog. Stay tuned.

 

 

Advertisements

Gimme a holler.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s