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Plantain Vs Banana - Essay Example

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Many differences and similarities exist between the two fruits. The book Bananas and Plantains, by J.C. Robinson, outlines the major and subtle differences of each. Bananas and plantains originated from…
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Plantain Vs Banana
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Download file to see previous pages The name Musa paradisiaca was given to the plantain group which are cooked and consumed while still starchy” (Robinson 21). Through further classification the two fruits became known scientifically as M. balbisiana and M. acuminata (Robinson 1).
Bananas and plantains share the same source of origin in Southeast Asia (Robinson 1). Today, the banana and plantain are abundant in slightly different parts of the world. Historically, the banana traveled from its origin to more tropical climates around 500 A.D, then ended in the Caribbean and South America about a thousand years later (Robinson 14). Most modern bananas are grown in the Caribbean region. In contrast, the plantain traveled from its origin of Southeast Asia and is now produced primarily in South America. Physically, bananas and plantains appear similar except for their color. Bananas are typically yellow when ripe and green when not ripe. Plantains are green when not ripe and black when ripe. A plantain is longer than a banana, and has a thicker skin (Chiquita Bananas).
The major differences between plantains and bananas are their taste differences and their popular uses. Although they appear similar on the outside, inside they are quite different and are used for different purposes. According to the Chiquita banana website, bananas are much sweeter than plantains and are typically eaten raw (Chiquita Bananas). Bananas are considered a fruit while plantains are considered members of the vegetable family. Plantains can be eaten raw, but are mostly eaten when they have been steamed, baked, boiled, or fried. Plantains are used as though they are a vegetable and are a staple in Central American and South American diets.
Interestingly, plantains are produced primarily in South America and consumed locally. “Only 1.62% of the world plantain production is exported” (Robinson 6). Bananas became popular in the United States after they started being imported ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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