It seems to us there are two types of people: those who love plantains, usually in the form of twice-fried tostones, and those who have never tasted the “large, looming,“cooking banana” used as a vegetable more often than a fruit. Black, ripest plantains may be eaten uncooked.
Plantains are Ready when you are:
Color coded for taste
Green to yellow to black,
Starchy to sweeter to sweetest
Any color, available any time of year.
For centuries plantains have been a year-round, important food for large populations of remote peoples dependent upon the land for survival. They are ranked the tenth most important food in native regions.
Plantains are rich in vitamin A, B6, C, potassium and fiber.
Choose plantains for the role you wish them to play, not sweet to sweetest. Store plantains at room temperature. If you wish to prolong one’s ripening stage, they can be refrigerated. They also freeze well.
Plantains in the two earlier stages or ripeness are more difficult to peel. Slitting the skin with a sharp knife point makes peeling easier.
Steamed, boiled, grilled, baked, or fried
Soups and stews
Baked, boiled, mashed as potatoes
Ripe baked as meat accompaniment
Marinated and grill
Fried chips (tostones)
Plantain recipe links: