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How the Banana Arrived in Latin America

How the Banana Arrived in Latin America

 Central American Banana Plantation, circa 1902-1911, Courtesy of the Tulane University Library

Central American Banana Plantation, circa 1902-1911, Courtesy of the Tulane University Library

As part of Hispanic history month lets talk about bananas and plantains arrived on the Latin American table. Asian traders introduced them to the Island of Madagascar off the coast of Africa during the Christian era and from there they spread to the mainland of Africa where cooks gradually made them a staple across West and Central Africa. Slaver traders used them as provisions on slave ships that carried slaves to Brazil and thereafter the Spanish did the same with cargoes of slaves sailing for Panama and Mexico. Bananas naturally became one of the staples foods for all sectors of society in South, Central America, and Mexico by the 16th century. 

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