Medieval bananas

TS Vienna has a bit to say about the banana.
TS Vienna has a bit to say about the banana.

No, really!

Go on with you! Bananas are arousing?

They're certainly suggestive, even by modern standards, but it's very interesting to see them names and shames in medieval books, especially as bananas were definitely not found in many areas of the medieval world.

It's fascinating, then, to see them mentioned in one of the most popular health handbooks, the Tacuinum Sanitatus.  

Not every version includes bananas. Several versions concern themselves with foods and herbs which are more mainstream, but the Vienna version thoughtfully includes more exotic items.

It mentions that the writer of this version has not seen or tasted the fruit themselves, but that it has been faithfully reported that the taste, colour and properties have been tried and tested, then lovingly recorded.

For this reason, the Vienna version is by far my favourite of the existing versions. It includes other slight variations which have also been included with notes stating that they are exotic or suitable only to persons who are native to the area of the fruit or vegetable.

But really! Bananas are arousing?  

Who knew!


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