Bananas in World History
Though the history of bananas in the United States and Europe is relatively recent, bananas have been a vital source of food calories for humans throughout most of history.  Today, bananas are the fourth most important staple crop for tropical peoples, supplying an important source of carbohydrates, and vitamins, in a readily absorbed, easily digested package.  But, as important as the crop is today, bananas have a long history of importance to humans that stretches back into the ancient world.  
Since perhaps as far back as 5,000 BCE, bananas and their plants have played an important role in history as a food, construction materials, cultural symbols, and, since the late nineteenth century, of increasing importance as a commodity.  Bananas have been and continue to be a culturally and calorically necessity for humans throughout their world.  The history of bananas is a world history.
Bananas in World History: An Overview