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Botanical name: Musa ssp.



The banana is native to Southeast Asia, where it was already grown as a cultivated crop around 4000 b.c. In 1892 the first bananas were brought to Germany. Until that time, transporting the quickly ripening fruit took too long.


Today bananas are grown in the tropical lowlands. There is a "banana belt", stretching from the 30th degree of latitude north to the 30th degree south. This is where the special climatic conditions for growing bananas prevail, which are not found in Europe.




Bananas are imported to Germany all year round; the supply is constant.


Appearance, taste, characteristics


Bananas can be divided into the following groups:


A. Dessert banana:
These are the best-known representatives of this tropical fruit. They are the second most popular fruit after the apple among the Germans. According to the stage of ripeness, the angular peel is green, yellow or brown. Bananas are always picked unripe. While they ripen, the starch they contain is transformed into sugar. This gives the banana its characteristic sweetness.


B. Baby banana (dwarf banana):
This is a mini dessert banana which is particularly aromatic.


C. Apple banana:
This is about 10 cm long and resembles an apple with regard to its slightly sour taste. On the outside it looks like a dessert banana.


D. Red banana:
The red banana has a reddish-brown peel and reddish pulp. The flavor is like that of the dessert banana.


E. Cooking banana (or plantain, also known as vegetable banana):
Cooking bananas are not meant to be eaten raw. They play only a minor role in Germany. In some tropical countries, however, they are a staple food. They can be cooked, deep-fried, fried, or ground to flour. Depending on the variety, the cooking banana can be larger than the dessert banana. Its peel is green or yellow to black. Its mealy flavor is reminiscent of potatoes.




Bananas contain various carbohydrates, both starches and several sugars. As these are digested and enter the blood at differing speeds, bananas supply both quick and long-lasting energy. This makes them a good energy snack, especially during sports activities. They also supply large amounts of potassium and magnesium, as well as some vitamins.


Bananas are easily digested and suitable for persons with intestinal tract disorders, for small children and for many diets.

100 g contain:



Dessert banana, fresh

Cooking banana, fresh

Energy (kcal)



Water (g)



Protein (g)



Fat (g)



Carbohydrates (g)



Fibre (g)



Vitamin C (mg)



Vitamin A (RE) (µg)



Folic acid (µg)



Potassium (mg)



Sodium (mg)



Calcium (mg)



Magnesium (mg)



Iron (mg)





Quality criteria, optimal storage conditions


Bananas can be bought in various stages of ripeness, either green or yellow or with black spots, which are a sign of optimal ripeness. Large brown spots on the peel indicate that the banana is overripe. Unripe fruits can be left to ripen at room temperature. It is not recommended that bananas be kept in the refrigerator, as this has an unfavourable effect on the aroma. In addition, it will make them turn grey.


Form of consumption, use, processing, practical tips for preparation


Bananas are eaten predominantly with the hand. Because of their practical natural "packaging", they can serve as a healthy snack when one is under way.


Moreover, bananas are a good ingredient in fruit salads or milkshakes, or as an addition to exotic curry dishes, The banana split is also popular: a vanilla ice-cream sundae with bananas and chocolate sauce. Deep-fried bananas with honey are a delicious desert.


Dried small slices of banana, known as "banana chips", are popular as a snack or added to muesli.

The baby banana makes a good table decoration.


In the producing countries alcoholic drinks are also made from bananas.





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