Bananas in basketBanana is a grass native of Southeast Asia mostly China. Then, it migrated to the Indian subcontinent before being introduced in East Africa and the Pacific Islands. Bananas (Musa spp.) changed as and when they traveled. It lost its seeds and was filled with pulp.

It was the Portuguese who introduced the first bananas from the Canary Islands to the Caribbean and Central America in 1502. The banana will take time to win the French West Indies. It was not until the 20th century that banana cultivation became a success in Martinique.

Following the crisis experienced by the sugar cane in the '60s, many distilleries closed, and bananas emerged as the solution for many landowners.

It is on the verge of becoming the first culture in Martinique in terms of occupied area (about 25% of the total area of the island) and the first agricultural wealth of Martinique before rum. The variety produced once called Gros Michel bananas, a severe disease has been systematically replaced by banana type Cavendish.

Still today, bananas exported from Martinique are type Cavendish.


Banana trees in MartiniqueBefore discussing banana varieties, we must look at the species of bananas found ionn the island.

First, we must distinguish sweet bananas from salted bananas.

Sweet banana has many varieties of bananas locally: Cavendish, which is a medium-sized banana, is the one you find in the markets and supermarkets throughout France, Europe and all over the world, banana figue-pomme or banana Poyo are small with a skin yellow or purple when ripe, bananas Grand nain, Lacatan and Ti Nain much like the Cavendish banana (medium-sized, yellow with black spots when is ripe).

As for salted bananas, banana Ti Nain, a green banana regarded the island as a local vegetable, which is eaten after being cooked in boiling water. At the end of cooking, it is gray. Ripe, this banana is a fruit and is sweet!

Another type of banana called salted, the plantain (Dwarf Cavendish in English) bananas, is also eaten after being cooked. It can also be fried or cooked in gratin. This banana said salt is slightly sweet after cooking. Both bananas are sources of starch. To learn all about the banana visit Musée de la Banane (Banana Museum) in Sainte-Marie or Habitation Chalvet.

Bananas can reach 7 meters high (up to 15 meters in Musa ingens variety) but have no real trunk. Their underground stem resembles a large bulb from which the leaves arise. Regarding its life cycle, the banana is a monocarpy species which is to say that it has only one terminal bud.

Health benefits

Pieces of bananasBananas have very many virtues. Moreover, it is a fruit that is recommended by most doctors as an energy source for athletes during exercise. It is found elsewhere on the marathon refreshment table or in bags of tennis players.

Bananas contain tryptophan, a protein that the body converts into serotonin, an excellent natural relaxant known for great help to feel happy and reduce depression.

Rich in potassium, a natural mineral, it promotes concentration and learning. Its vitamin B helps to relax the nervous system. Rich in iron, it increases the production of hemoglobin in the blood.

It also helps to fight against constipation and eating regularly can regulate the body. It relieves intestinal burns. It regulates sugar levels in the blood.

Banana stops the acidity of the stomach and reduces by 40% the risk of heart attacks. It is also effective against hangovers.


Banana donutsBananas are a component of many menus and very many desserts (banana flambé, fritters (opposite picture) banana and Nutella crepes, Robinson cake, pies jam, etc ...), banana jam, a banana punch and also gratins.