Sunday, April 02, 2017

Friar Tomas de Berlanga and banana

One of the first records of bananas dates back to Alexander the Great’s conquest of India where he first discovered bananas in 327 BC. During the 1500's, as Spanish Explorers began to visit the New World, the banana traveled with them.

According the Spanish history, Friar Tomas de Berlanga brought the first banana root stocks from a Portuguese settlement in the Canary Islands, to the Spanish colony of Santo Domingo, or present-day Dominican Republic.

In 1516, De Berlanga set up the first New World banana plantation in the rich, fertile soil of the tropics, thus beginning the banana’s future in American life. Banana plantations were soon established throughout European colonies in the Caribbean, as well as in South and Central America.

Export trading in bananas started with small shipments from Caribbean to the United States of America early in the nineteenth century; these consisted of bunches, probably Gros Michael, transported in unrefrigerated space on schooners.

But the early twentieth century shipbuilders had built refrigerated ships. They painted them white to reflect the hot tropical sun.
Friar Tomas de Berlanga and banana