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What's the Origin of Plantain?

By Susan Steele
The plantain is thought to be a relative of the banana.
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The plantain is a fruit that resembles a large banana. Though the stories have varied somewhat, this fruit is thought to have been discovered as early as 327 B.C. Regardless of its origin, the plantain was a popular trade food many years ago.

327 B.C. Europe

It's believed that Alexander the Great discovered this fruit in 327 B.C. and brought it to Europe. Plantains traveled to Madagascar from India and Malaysia through Asian and Arab trade. This fruit was popular during the Trans-Saharan trade boom.

1500 A.D. Africa

By 1500 A.D., plantains were considered a prosperous trading product. This fruit helped define the success of the expansion of the Bantu Kingdom in southern and central Africa.

1516 A.D. the Caribbeans

A Portuguese Franciscan monk is believed to have introduced plantains to the Caribbeans in 1516 A.D. He brought the plantains to Santo Domingo after discovering them in the Canary Islands.


About the Author


Susan Steele has been an avid writer for more than 25 years. Steele's articles covering gardening and other topics have been published on a variety of well-known websites, such as eHow, Garden Guides and Answerbag. She graduated from Ashland Community and Technical College with a degree in data-entry operation.