The Canarian banana has become not only a gastronomic reference in the archipelago but also in Spain and Europe, thanks to its intense sweet flavor, its particular aroma and its nutritional benefits.
It is possible to find farms with banana crops in 5 of the 8 of the Canary Islands, but it is in Tenerife (also in La Palma and Gran Canaria) where cultivation activities are most widespread. Touring the northern slopes of these islands implies observing large areas occupied by banana plantations where a banana route could be made.
Easier is to visit the Casa del Plátano de Icod where it is possible to walk comfortably in order to learn the secrets of banana cultivation.
The Banana House in Icod de los Vinos
If you are interested in learning about the history of the Canarian banana, a good option is to visit La Casa del Plátano in Icod de los Vinos, an old Canarian house now converted into a museum. This is the ideal place to learn everything from the hard work involved in growing the most popular fruit to the ways in which it is consumed on the islands.
La Casa del Plátano has interior rooms in which, in a very entertaining way, the history of this fruit, the second most consumed fruit in the world, is unraveled, paying special attention to the process of introduction in the Canary Islands and its cultivation and handling in the islands. The visit is free and continues through an outside patio where the different tasks are explained in detail, from planting to harvesting the bunch of bananas.
How banana cultivation began on the island
The banana tree is native to the humid regions of Southeast Asia and probably arrived in Spain from Egypt a few centuries before it arrived in the Canary Islands, where it arrived in the 16th century, either from Andalusia (where it was already a fruit known and cultivated by the Arabs), or from Guinea through Portuguese traders.
Between the sugar cane plantations and the vines, the banana plantation found its niche on the islands with the greatest relief. Such was the adaptation of the banana tree to the environmental conditions of the islands that it even grew wild in ravines and places with sufficient water, since it is a species that requires no less than 30 liters per day to grow favorably.
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