Ready to go bananas? Or should I say plantains? You will with this delicious starch that presents an interesting alternative to the ever common spud!!!
No matter what, no Latin American or Caribbean meal is complete without plantain. Whether ripe or green, the plantain is a staple in the Latin American as well as the Caribbean and African table, and with good reason-plantains are delicious. So, what are these giant green bananas?
The plantain is another one of those ancient foods. It is believed to be native do India and supposedly discovered by Alexander the Great during his campaign in Asia. It was brought to the New World by missionary Franciscan monks.
Plantains grow mainly in tropical climates. They are a good source of potassium and vitamins A and C. Plantains are also an important cash crop for small and subsistence farmers.
Unlike its botanical cousin (the banana), the plantain’s skin is thick. However, as it ripens, the sugars begin to eat away at the peel and it becomes softer. Whether green or ripe, a plantain cannot be eaten raw, you will get sick. Once cooked, you can eat it green or ripe. The taste of a green plantain and a ripe plantain is completely different since a green plantain will have more of a starchy taste and a ripe plantain will be sweet. Plantain can be eaten baked, boiled or fried.
In my blog I offer a wide variety of recipes, some easy, some more challenging that feature plantain as a main ingredient. You will definitely find a recipe for tostones and mofongo, two personal favorites.