The Roman emperor Octavius Augustus' personal physician is credited with promoting the popularity of bananas from 63 to 14 B.C. In the early fifteenth century, Portuguese sailors brought bananas to Europe. They became known as "bananas" from their Guinean name "banema."
This original banana was cultivated since ancient times, even before rice. It grew in Africa but probably originated in East Asia and Oceania. It finally reached North America with Spanish missionaries. However, these bananas were not the ones we commonly find at our super markets today. These bananas were red and green and not sweet - today they're known as plantains.
The bananas we know is actually a mutant strain of the fruit discovered in 1836 by Jamaican Jean Francois Poujot. He found one of the trees on his plantation was bearing yellow fruit rather than the normal red and green variety. When he tasted it, he discovered it was sweet and began growing more of the mutant strain.
Soon this new sweet banana was being imported to the U.S. People would eat it on a plate with a knife and fork because it was considered a delicacy.