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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

"They Actually Eat That:" Plantains.

(Apologies for the delay. I had a paper to write.) 

 So, it's time for another installment of "weird things Kuro found while shopping on Devon Avenue!" After doing an entry on Goya, the giant guinea pig, I came across these chips in Devon market. They're made of plantains, which are not usually found in North American cuisine.



But what exactly is a plantain, anyways?

A plantain (Musa) is kinda like a banana, only smaller and green. They are native to Indiaand Southeast Asia in general. However, they are popularly grown in the Caribbean and Africa as well. They are frequently used in Caribbean, African, Indian, and South American cuisine. Other areas such as the Philippines and some southern states use them as well. 

A plantain looks like a slender, green banana. If you manage to find ripe ones, they will actually be brown; don't let that throw you. They can usually be found in the fresh produce sections of most supermarkets.



Plantains and bananas are indeed closely related, but before you decide to try the other banana out of curiosity, there are a few key differences you should know. For starters, plantains cannot be eaten raw; they must be cooked regardless of what growth stage they are at. If cooking a banana sounds disgusting to you, plantains are a lot starchier than bananas. They are treated more like tubers (i.e. potatoes) when cooked. In short, they're almost vegetables.

Since the plantain is darn close to a potato, plantain chips are a rather popular snack food. They can also be cooked with a variety of spices. There are recipes for plantains from Ghana, Puerto Rico, and India. Yes, they have plantain curry. Pick your favorite way to eat 'em and dig in.

4 comments:

  1. I love plantain! Usually I boil them up a little to soften the skin so I can peel it, then I slice it up and fry on each side. Delicious!

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    Replies
    1. That does sound yummy! Next time I see them, I will definitely try that. Know a good site with directions in that style, perchance? (Inexperienced fryer, here.)

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    2. I don't know of any particular site, but I'm sure there're loads. I'm not talking chips or crisps fried, just a few minutes in the frying pan with some olive oil or whatever. A bit like a fried egg! I'm sure you (and I, in fact) could find far more interesting methods out there.

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