t.d.decker at att.net
Thu Jul 29 09:44:03 PDT 2010
Bananas are cut just before ripening and shipped refrigerated. Once they come
out of refrigeration you have roughly two weeks to sell them. That is why
bananas only became a widespread commodity in the late 19th Century.
The closest place to Europe to get bananas is the Canary Islands and you need a
very fast sailing vessel and fair winds to get the bananas to market before they
spoil. The bananas that were sold in London in 1633 were a botanical sample
shipped live as a small plant from the West Indies, allowed to mature, and
harvested when ripe. Not a good commercial strategy. The grocer who sold them
was the botanist who edited the 1633(?) edition of Gerard's Herbal.
.Back on July 19, Talana mentioned:
<<< I worked for a produce distributor for couple of years. The bananas arrived
green, and we ripened them in the warehouse.>>>
I have noticed that a lot of the bananas I see in my local HEB grocery store
still look pretty green.
So why couldn't they have harvested the bananas green and shipped them to
southern Europe or even England? Was the shipping time still too long and they
would go from green to over-ripe while still being shipped? Or is there some
more processing that needs to be done or a temperature range that has to be
maintained that medieval shipping practices couldn't accommodate?
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