Where Do Bananas Originate?

Bananas originate from the Southeast Asian region as well as from India. Bananas first spread into the world when Arab conquerors of the region in 327 B.C. brought it west into Asia Minor and Africa. The banana began to be produced in high volume starting in 1834.

During the 19th century, banana plantations began to appear in the Caribbean and initially used sugar plantation lands. Later, following the drainage of low marsh lands and forest clearing, the banana was planted in large volumes in Central America. The production of bananas as a trade crop started to gain momentum during the 1880s.

Sailors from all over carried bananas to different parts of the world. Portuguese sailors brought bananas to Europe from West Africa in the early 15th century. They also brought bananas to the Canary Islands and to the West Indies. The Spanish missionary Friar Tomas de Berlanga was the first person to bring bananas to North America. During that time period, bananas were reportedly red and green rather than the trademark yellow color they are known for today.