[Sca-cooks] Banana WAS Images of Dining in Ireland 1581

Terry Decker t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net
Thu Aug 24 16:28:52 PDT 2006

I would say it doesn't matter that the fruit is Musa paradisiaca rather then 
M. acuminata.  Both fruits are tropical, don't travel very well (although 
the plantain may do better than the banana), and the closest source is the 
Canary Islands.  The question is how did it get into a Tudor period midden? 
The chief difference is the plantain requires cooking before eating.

It does occur to me that this may be a specimen taken from a private 
botanical garden rather than an exotic import.


> Just a note to say the skin found in the Thames midden was actually a 
> plantain, not a banana. I emailed the gentleman in charge at the museum 
> just after the London Eats Out exhibition (which is when it was displayed) 
> and he said DNA tests had proven it to be such. You can see a rather small 
> photo of it (pre-digital camera days for me!) on my website here:
> http://www.thorngrove.net/athenaeum/eatsout4.htm 
> <http://www.thorngrove.net/http://www.thorngrove.net/athenaeum/eatsout4.htm>
> ciao
> Lucrezia

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