This map reflects the data from the Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. It reveals the two most commonly consumed fruits in proportion to each other, in each country. The fruits included are orange, apple, banana, plantain, grapefruit, date, grape, pineapple, and lemon. The three most commonly consumed fruits across the world are bananas, apples, and oranges.
While fruits that are commonly cultivated in a specific country are more likely to be a staple food in that region, this is not always the case. The global trade of fruits means that non-native varieties are still often consumed in many countries. Hence, the most commonly consumed fruits in a country can be influenced by both economic exchanges and cultural traditions.
Apples are one of the most popular fruits in Europe and are widely grown in Central and Eastern Europe due to their ideal growing conditions. The cool winters and moderate summers in these regions provide the perfect climate for apple trees to thrive. Oranges, on the other hand, are more commonly consumed in Southern and Western Europe, particularly in Mediterranean countries where the climate is warmer. Grapes and bananas are also very popular fruits throughout Europe.
In the United States and Canada, apples are also very popular, since large portions of these countries have a temperate climate. In the tropical regions of North America, like Central America and the Caribbean, bananas and plantains are more widely consumed. Oranges are also quite popular throughout the continent. Interestingly enough, the Bahamas is the only major country where grapefruit is the most eaten fruit. It originated in Barbados, another former British colony in the region.
Bananas and plantains are the most popular fruits in the tropical regions of South America. During the colonial period, Portuguese and Spanish explorers brought these fruits to the region and were easily able to cultivate them, since they grow well in hot humid climates. The orange is another extremely widely consumed fruit in South America. This fruit was also introduced to the continent by Europeans. Oranges are high vitamin C content, which helped to prevent scurvy among sailors on long sea voyages.
In addition to South America, bananas and plantains are also particularly popular in Africa. In general, plantains are more widely consumed in West Africa, while bananas more widely consumed in East Africa. On average, 3 to 11 bananas per person are consumed daily in Uganda, Burundi, and Rwanda. Dates and oranges are more common in North African countries like Algeria, Libya, and Egypt where they are often used in sweet dishes. Pineapples are especially popular in Benin.
The continent of Asia has a wide range of climates and cultural traditions, resulting in a diverse range of commonly consumed fruits. Dates are a popular fruit on the Arabian peninsula, while bananas and plantains are more often eaten in the tropical regions of Asia, where they are originally from. Meanwhile, in drier and more northern regions, apples tend to be more popular. Grapes are commonly consumed in Central Asia and the Caucasus. Their hot, dry summers and mild winters provide ideal growing conditions.
In the Pacific Islands, bananas are the staple fruit, with a variety of different banana types grown and consumed. The banana is also the most widely consumed fruit in Australia and New Zealand, although oranges and apples are also popular there. Pineapples are also often eaten in some countries in the South Pacific, such as Fiji and Samoa.