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 Anthropology in the News

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Anthropology of Food

to Sweet Treats around the World

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Sicilian ice-cream in a bread bun. A good solution to a local problem: the Mediterranean heat quickly melts the ice-cream, which is absorbed by the bread.
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A Fistful of Rice.
A Fistfull of Rice
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Anthroplogy of Food


In the News

NOUN:   1. Any of several treelike Asian herbs of the genus Musa, especially M. acuminata, having a terminal crown of large, entire leaves and a hanging cluster of fruits. 2. The elongated, edible fruit of these plants, having a thick yellowish to reddish skin and white, aromatic, seedless pulp.
ETYMOLOGY:   Portuguese and Spanish, from Wolof, Mandingo, and Fulani.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by the Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

see also

Food Politics
Food Technology
Food and Climate Change




Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Liliopsida
Order: Zingiberales
Family: Musaceae
Genus: Musa
Species: Musa cavendishii
Binomial name


Traditional offerings of bananas and coconut at a Nat spirit shrine in Myanmar

In the News . . .

The Scout Report
25 March 2010
Volume 16, Number 12

In California, a rather unique museum looks for a new home

In California, the Banana Museum Has Lost Its Appeal

The Saddest, Scariest Story About a Dying Banana Museum Ever

Bananas: A Storied Fruit With An Uncertain Future [Real Player]

The Banana Club Museum

National Apple Museum

All Recipes: Banana

Ken Bannister is a man in love with bananas. Over the past four decades he has managed to amass more than 17,000 banana-focused items, and he is also the founder of the International Banana Club and Museum in Hesperia, California. Browsing around the Museum's headquarters, visitors might catch a glimpse of a gold-sequined "Michael Jackson banana", a banana beach mat, and many banana salt-and-pepper shaker sets. These waves and crescendos of yellow are looking for a new home these days, as the Hesperia Recreation & Parks District informed Bannister in January that his collection (which is located in a District building) would need to relocate. Now, Bannister is attempting to take his bananas on the road, but he is having little luck as of late. He placed the entire collection up for auction on eBay in February for a "bargain price" of $45000. There were no takers, even after Bannister reduced the price several times. Interested parties might want to make a quick trip to Hesperia, or if they miss out, there's always the National Apple Museum in Biglerville, Pennsylvania. [KMG]

The first link will take visitors to a Wall Street Journal article from this Tuesday on the current state of the Banana Museum, complete with a slideshow of images. The second link leads to another news piece from Gawker about the Museum. Moving on, the third link will take users to a fascinating interview from NPR's Fresh Air program that profiles Dan Koeppel, author of "Banana: The Fate of the Fruit That Changed the World". The fourth link leads to the official homepage of the Banana Museum. For those looking for an excuse for a road trip, the fifth link leads to the homepage of the National Apple Museum. The site contains a cornucopia of material on apples, fruit growers in the area, and nearby lodging and dining options. The final link leads to a wide-ranging selection of banana-themed recipes from the All Recipes site. There are many variations on banana bread, banana pancakes, and the lesser-known chocolate banana cream pie.

Traditional offerings of bananas and coconut at a Nat spirit shrine in Myanmar

Parade magazine logo.

Ask Marilyn banner.

What are the black specks that are sometimes in the middle of bananas?

-- Marzee Denham, Florissant, Mo.
5 October 2008

They're seeds, which are often unnoticed when they're tiny. But if you plant one, it won't grow into a banana plant (which is actually a huge herb, not a tree, although it looks like one). Banana plants are sterile. New plants grow from shoots that come from the underground stem.

So why are there seeds? Several thousand years ago, humans crossed some inedible, wild banana plants. The result was a sterile hybrid that produced plentiful, fine food. Today, hundreds of varieties exist.

Actual and probable diffusion of bananas during Islamic times (700-1500 AD).

Actual and probable diffusion of bananas
during Islamic times (700-1500 AD).

Banana split.
Banana split.Banana split.Banana split.

Banana value chain split.

Source: [said to be] BananaLink

 Tengeru market near Arusha, Tanzania

Tengeru market near Arusha, Tanzania

7 July 2007
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