Saturday, May 25, 2013

Curious Cases of Banana, Rhubarb and Işgın

Contrary to what creationists want you to think (Banana: The Atheists' Nightmare), the delicious starch cubes once looked like this:

Thanks to a thousand years of best Genetic Modification by small farmers, the seeds were gone. As a result, all the bananas you eat are more or less the fruits of the same plants, which have been asexually produced over and over again.

I came across a similar case of wild origins of a well-known European plant in my recent visit to Erzurum. Favorite of pie-makers across the western world, Rhubarb looks clean and nicely shaped like this:

Virtually unknown in western Turkey, the wild cousin, or perhaps ancestor of Rhubarb is known as Işgın in Eastern Turkey:

To close the this curious circle, the Wild Rhubarb is known as the Mountain Banana in Eastern Turkey.

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