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Re: [nafex] Bananas

Oh Don, do I have banana on my face!  When I lived on the Texas Gulf Coast,
the Dole Fruit Company had a banana terminal in Freeport, near where I
lived.  They brought in freighter after freighter of  what I was told where
Williams and Grand Nain bananas from their plantations in Costa Rica.  The
reason I say, "I was told," is that I was a reporter for the Houston
Chronicle at the time, and we did a series of articles on the banana trade,
politics of the region and its impact on the Port of Houston.  So, I made
the infamous mistake of assuming that most of the commercial bananas were
those two varieties.  Sorry!  I have noticed, though, that the variety of
banana found in stores depends on where you are in the country.  We had
Grand Nain mostly in Texas.  In Illinois, the bananas were smaller and were
probably Williams.  What we get in Wisconsin are even smaller bananas that
are tri-sided.  Have not been able to put a name to them yet.

-----Original Message-----
From: Don Yellman <dyellman@earthlink.net>
To: nafex@yahoogroups.com <nafex@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Thursday, May 10, 2001 5:11 PM
Subject: [nafex] Bananas

>Ummm....... Doreen, you know how much I hate to disagree with you, but
>when I served as Econ officer at the U.S. Consulate in Guayaquil,
>Ecuador from 1970-73, I was also the banana officer, and got deeper into
>bananas than I would like to tell you about.  At that time, bananas were
>Ecuador's number one export crop.  The region around Guayquil,
>especially to the South in El Oro province, is the largest banana
>growing and exporting area in the world.
>Williams Hybrid was  the dominant commercial variety until the mid to
>late 50's, when an outbreak of a fungal disease known as "bunchy top"
>wiped out Central America and spread rapidly into Northern S. America.
>Cavendish was developed specifically to resist that disease, and is now
>the exclusive variety in the whole region.  Cavendish is also larger and
>slightly less "fruity" tasting than Williams.  Williams survives in many
>other parts of the world where bunchy top did not strike.  I grew it
>while living on Saipan in the early 80's, and it is widespread across
>Micronesia, the Philippines, and Southeast Asia.
>Incidentally, bananas are one fruit that absolutely has to be picked
>green.  If left on the tree after achieving full size, every banana will
>split open on the stalk.  I say this because I have split quite a few
>Rgds, Don Yellman, Great Falls, VA
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