Bananas - Banana Information
1 pound bananas = 2 cups sliced or 1 1/2 cups mashed bananas.
The banana was probably one of the first plants to be cultivated. the earliest historical reference to the fruit was 327 B.C., when Alexander the Great found them flourishing in India. Traders in the Indian Ocean carried the banana to the eastern coast of Africa, and Chinese traders introduced the banana to the Polynesians before the second century A.D.
Bananas have gone by many names. In fact, each time a new group of people were introduced to them. Centuries ago bananas were called "banna" and "ghana" and even "funana." The Africans are credited with giving the banana its permanent name. In India, bananas were called "Fruit of the Wise Men." According to Indian legend, wise men meditated under the shady, green leaves of banana plants. Don't you wish you had a banana plant in your back yard?
The banana is harvested green, even for local consumption. It is the one fruit which, if left to ripen on the plant, never develops its best flavor. After they are picked, the sugar content increases from 2% to 20%. The yellowier the skin, the sweeter the fruit will be.
After bananas have ripened, store in the refrigerator to help slow down ripening. The skin will turn dark brown, but this does not damage the fruit inside. If bananas become too ripe, freeze in their skins for later use in your banana bread.