April 10 - First Bananas on Sale in England!

  Posted on April 10, 2022

This is an update of my post published on April 10, 2011:

"What's that hanging in Thomas Johnson's shop windows?"

I imagine that's what the people of London were saying on this day in 1633. Somehow historians know the date when bananas first went on sale in England. For most Londoners, it would have been their first chance to even glimpse bananas – and most of them didn't get to taste the exotic fruit. As a matter of fact, it wasn't until the 1800s that bananas were regularly imported by Britain.

Apparently, at least one banana was in England long before the date of their first sale. Archeologists excavating a pit in London have discovered a banana skin dating back to about 1500. It most likely came from West Africa, scholars believe, whereas apparently Thomas Johnson's bananas came from Bermuda. (There doesn't seem to be any details on how Johnson managed to transport them so quickly that they were still fit to display, sell, and eat!)

Bananas originated in Southeast Asia. The original wild banana ancestor didn't look much like modern bananas--humans have used artificial selection for thousands of years to create the delicious fruits we enjoy today.

Above and below, inside two species of wild bananas.
Note that the seeds are WAY more prominent.


Check out...

There are fun banana snacks here, and kid friendly recipes here.

Have you ever had a frozen banana? Yummm....

Someone drew these monkeys on this banana.
One mom swears that her kids love to eat bananas 
that she decorates with Sharpie pens - but she
just draws really simple faces and characters,
compared to this work of art!

Also on this date:

Anniversary of the invention of the safety pin


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