History of Plantain

The long and tortuous history of plantain can be traced to as early as 500 B.C. It is of South East Asian origin, mostly in Malaysia and the now Indonesia. This now popular African food item was introduced into India by traders. .

At about 327 B.C. Alexander the Great during his world conquest came in contact with this fruit and introduced it into Europe.

Plantain found its way into Madagascar from Malaysia and India through trading Asian merchants and by Arabs during the Trans-Saharan trade boom.

Plantain and banana trade along with yam and other food crops became a very important factor in the wealth, prosperity and rapid expansion of the Bantu Kingdom of central and southern Africa around 1500 AD.

Up till date, plantain is still a major and popular staple meal across Uganda and the rest of the former Bantu region.

The history of banana and plantain in the Caribbean has also been traced to the activities of the Portuguese Franciscan Monk who introduced it to the Caribbean island of Santo Domingo in the 1516, having himself come in contact with this fruit in the Canary island, brought there by his compatriots about a hundred years earlier.

Today, plantain is popular and eaten boiled or baked or fried or mashed in many parts of the world today like Florida, Spain, Mexico, Portugal, Japan, Malaysia, Egypt, Nigeria, Ghana, Brazil, to mention but a few places.

What a history of its world tour!

Now let’s leave the issue of the history of plantain alone. If you have never eaten plantain before, why not try it out today.

Plantain seeds are used in feeding tortoise and as herbs for various ailments. You can explore the world of plantain further by seeing other uses of plantain in the table below.

Please see the other sections of this topic for nutritional value of plantain and other related issues.

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