In her early years, Miss Chiquita found fame in the fruit aisle as an animated banana. Drawn in 1944 by cartoonist Dik Browne, Miss Chiquita put a personal face on Chiquita bananas.
In her early years, as an animated banana, she helped to teach consumers about the great nutritional value of bananas and how to ripen them. She was a big celebrity, making guest appearances in top radio shows including those of Fred Allen and Alec Templeton. As the decades progressed, so did Miss Chiquita's look as she was slowly brought to life.
Live models and personalities were hired to bring the "First Lady of Fruit" to life, beginning with Patty Clayton in 1944. Portugal-born Elsa Miranda (no relation to movie star Carmen) was the most famous Miss Chiquita. In 1945 and 1946. Miss Chiquita made numerous personal appearances. She also made many guest appearances in movies, in commercials and even with Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops Symphony Orchestra.
One of America's most famous and beloved icons, Miss Chiquita, celebrated her 50th birthday in 1994. It was a proud moment. Testa of New York was selected from a national talent search for this landmark occasion.
The latest in a series of women handpicked to portray the number one ambassador of fruit is Jenny Canales. In 2003, she started her duties as Miss Chiquita by ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange in celebration of the 100th anniversary of Chiquita Brands International's listing on the NYSE.
Now over 70 years old, Miss Chiquita remains the indisputable first lady of fruit and still brings a smile to the faces of banana fans everywhere.