Plantains feature in a number of our recipes, however not everyone is expert in their use. The following is a basic guide to their origin, preparation and use.
There is no formal botanical distinction between plantains and bananas. The broadest sense of the two terms, used here, is based purely on how the fruits are consumed. Plantains are typically eaten cooked and are usually large, angular and starchy, in contrast to dessert bananas, which are typically eaten raw and are usually smaller, more rounded and sugary. In some countries, there may appear to be a clear distinction between cooking plantains and sweet bananas, but in other countries, where many more cultivated varieties (cultivars) are used, the differences are not so clear-cut. A subgroup of plantain cultivars may be distinguished as "true" plantains.
In countries located in Central America and the Caribbean, such as Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Honduras and Jamaica, the plantain is either simply fried, boiled or added to a soup. In Kerala, ripe plantain is steamed and is a popular breakfast dish. In Ghana, boiled plantain is eaten with kontomire stew, cabbage stew or fante-fante (fish) stew. The boiled plantain can be mixed with groundnut paste, pepper, onion and palm oil to make eto, which is eaten with avocado and without pork. Ripe plantains can also be fried and eaten with black eyed beans cooked in palm oil; a popular breakfast dish. Kelewele, a Ghanaian snack, is spiced ripe plantain deep fried in palm oil or vegetable oil.
In the southern United States, particularly in Texas, Louisiana and Florida, plantains are most often grilled. In Nigeria, plantain is eaten boiled, fried or roasted; roasted plantain, called boli is usually eaten with palm oil or groundnut. In Guatemala, ripe plantains are eaten boiled, fried, or in a special combination where they are boiled, mashed and then stuffed with sweetened black beans. Afterwards, they are deep fried in sunflower or corn oil. The dish is called Rellenitos de Plátano and is served as a dessert. In Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, and Cuba plantains are sometimes boiled, mashed and then eaten with fried eggs for breakfast.
Our Plantain Recipes