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The Plantain’s Past

In addition to recipes and prep tips, we at Chestnut Hill Farms like to educate our readers about every aspect of the fruit they purchase from us. It’s part of our company culture. We want our customers to be as passionate about the products we sell as we are! We’re even crazy enough to give those visitors to Lloyd’s Corner a science tutorial on El Niño. (We know…it was a tough one).

Much like our previous post on pineapples, the history of the plantain is fascinating. It’s had its very own world tour. Yet, in this instance, the origins of the plantain can be found on the other side of the globe.

As AfricanFoods.co reports:

Around 327 B.C, Alexander the Great came in contact with this fruit during his world conquest and introduced it into Europe. The plantain eventually found its way from Malaysia and India to Madagascar through trading Asian and Arab merchants during the Trans-Saharan trade boom… [It] became a very important factor in the wealth, prosperity and rapid expansion of the Bantu Kingdom of central and southern Africa around 1500 AD. To date, the plantain is still a major and popular staple meal across Uganda and the rest of the former Bantu region. The history of the banana and plantain in the Caribbean has also been traced to the activities of the Portuguese Franciscan Monk who is credited for introducing it to the Dominican Republic in 1516, having himself come in contact with this fruit in the Canary Islands, brought there by his compatriots about a hundred years earlier.”

Since then, the plantain has become a staple product in many countries across several continents. From Asia to Africa, to many parts of Latin America, and even among communities in the United States, the plantain is widely eaten year-round.

And now you know!

Dr. Lloyd

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