Bananas had already been cultivated 10,000 years ago in the areas of Papua New Guinea and South-East Asia, and in the 15th and the 16th century the Portuguese started to cultivate bananas in the countries of East Africa, islands in the Atlantic ocean and in Brazil. The cultivation of bananas then spread to the Caribbean and Central America.
Banana chips are usually consumed as a snack, which can be eaten on its own, or broken and added to nuts and other dried fruits, dipped in chocolate or added to breakfast cereals. Banana chips are famous for their intensive banana flavour and crunchiness.
The commercial production of bananas is most wide spread in India, China, Uganda and the Philippines. The largest exporters of bananas are Ecuador, Costa Rica and Columbia.
The banana plant on average attains a height of 5 metres, but its leaves can grow up to three metres long. Bananas grow in clusters made up of tiers (so-called “hands”), which can bear up to 50 kilograms of fruit.
In some cultures, (like the Hindu and Malayan), bananas have a strong symbolic significance and are included in their religious offerings. They are a common food source, as well as an important ingredient for festive feasts.
The name of the fruit is thought to be of West African origin, possibly from the Wolof word “banaana”, which was passed into English-speaking countries via the Spanish or Portuguese.
They are the fourth most widely produced food in the world after wheat, rice and milk.