History: The banana was probably one of the first plants to be cultivated. The earliest historical reference to the fruit was 327 B.C., when Alexander the Great found them flourishing in India. Traders in the Indian Ocean carried the banana to the eastern coast of Africa, and Chinese traders introduced the banana to the Polynesians before the second century A.D. During Alexander the Great's life, bananas were called pala in Athens. North America got its first taste of the tropical fruit in 1876 at the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition. Each banana was wrapped in foil and sold for 10 cents.
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