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How did the banana, the most consumed tropical fruit in the country, arrive in Mexico?

The banana is, by far, the most consumed tropical fruit in Mexico. It is grown in 16 states of the country, highlighting Chiapas, Veracruz, and Tabasco, which account for 60% of the total national production. Mexico grows the Dominico, Valery, Pera, Tabasco, Morado, Manzano, Giant Cavendish, and Macho varieties, among others.

However, the banana is not native to Mexico. The Musa species originated in the tropical Indomalaya region and Australia.

Its domestication is thought to have first occurred in Papua New Guinea and later, in the V century, it reached Africa and the Mediterranean. In the 6th century, it spread to the Canary Islands, from where it was taken to America by colonizers many centuries later, in 1516.

According to some historical archives, the Spanish bishop Vasco de Quiroga played an important role in the introduction of the banana in Mexico, since he promoted its cultivation in the Zitacuaro region, in the state of Michoacan, with plants that he himself brought from Spain in one of his travels between the two continents.

The world's largest banana producers now are India and China, which occupy the first and second positions in the global ranking, respectively. However, it is mainly the Latin American and Caribbean countries that produce the majority of the bananas that compete in international trade, led by Ecuador and, a long way behind, the Philippines, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Colombia.



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