At first sight, it’s easy to mistake a plantain for a banana. There are several different varieties of banana-like fruits, which are all part of the same family, but taste very different from each other.
WHAT ARE PLANTAINS?
Commonly referred to as a “cooking banana” or platano in Spanish, a plantain can easily be mistaken for a banana. Plantains are a fruit, consumed as a vegetable and are a good source of Potassium as well as Vitamin A. Plantains can be grown year-round which makes them a valuable, reliable food source in countries across the globe from Central and South America to the Caribbean, India, Africa and Asia.
STAGES OF RIPENESS
Plantains can be cooked at any stage of ripeness – from green, to yellow or black – to create a variety of dishes from appetizers to desserts. Plantains taste different at each stage of development, though the interior color of the fruit will remain creamy, yellowish or lightly pink.
When the peel is green to yellow, the flavor of the plantain is bland and has a starchy texture. It’s also important to note that raw plantains must be cooked prior to consuming. This is the optimal stage to make savory foods such as tostones, which are versatile, tender, and crunchy.
RIPE (YELLOW) PLANTAINS
As the peel changes to brown or black, it has a sweeter flavor and more of a banana aroma, but still keeps a firm shape when cooked. When prepared at this stage, plantains can be used to make sweet, filling, and satisfying platanos maduros.
Spanish word for “ripened”, maduros also refers to a Latin side dish made up of sweet ripe plantains that are typically sliced on a bias and fried.
No matter what type of plantain you choose, you can count on MIC Food® for all your tropical food needs.
Here at MIC Food® we are helping chefs, restaurants, industrial kitchens, retail brands, delis, and others in the food industry rethink their menus by providing a variety of plantain products that come peeled and cut, ready-to-heat and serve, saving you hours of prep time so you can focus on what matters the most: making every meal memorable.
Hungry for more? Check out our recipe library for more inspiration!