When I asked what I should bring to the birthday party on Saturday, my brother in law teased that he wanted plantains. Plantains? I LOVE plantains! So I think I’ll teach ya’ll about plantains. You can slice and fry them in oil like potato chips, slice them and sauté them in butter and brown sugar, or make them like mashed potaters.
What is a Plantain?
Plantains are a member of the banana family. They are a starchy, low in sugar variety that is cooked before serving as it is unsuitable raw. It is used in many savory dishes somewhat like a potato would be used and is very popular in Western Africa and the Caribbean countries. It is usually fried or baked.
Plantains are native to India and are grown most widely in tropical climates. Plantains are sometimes referred to as the pasta and potatoes of the Caribbean. Sold in the fresh produce section of the supermarket, they usually resemble green bananas but ripe plantains may be black in color. This vegetable-banana can be eaten and tastes different at every stage of development. The interior color of the fruit will remain creamy, yellowish or lightly pink. When the peel is green to yellow, the flavor of the flesh is bland and its texture is starchy. 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.
Plantains grow best in areas with constant warm temperatures and protection from strong winds. They have been grown in scattered locations throughout Florida since the 16th century. Because of the occasional freezes, Florida is considered a marginal area for plantain production. They are available year round in the supermarket.
Cuban Fufu is a sweet plantain stuffing mashed with bacon and onion. I got to try it when vacationing in Cancun.
- 4 sweet plantains (peeled and cut into uniform pieces)
- 1/4 pound of bacon (cut into small pieces)
- 1 medium onion (diced)
- 4 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
1. In a saucepan, cover plantains with lightly salted, cold water and bring to a boil.
2. Cook until plantains are soft (about 10 minutes).
3. Drain and mash the plantains. Set aside.
4. In a frying pan, sauté the bacon until brown. Add the diced onion and chopped garlic. Continue sautéing for about 5 minutes.
5. Remove the frying pan from the heat and drain excess bacon drippings. Leave about 2 tablespoons of grease in the pan.
6. Gently fold in mashed plantains until thoroughly mixed. Transfer to a dish, cover and keep warm until ready to serve.
Serves: 8 people
Laugh, learn and liven up your taste buds – BABALOOOOO!!!!