May 7, 2008

Until recently, I have not ventured into Latin American/South American cuisine. I’ve always equated their food with the typical TexMex/Taco Bell pu pu platter of bland meat, rice, and beans wrapped into a tortilla or taco shell. I like being able to taste my food and not having to douse it with hot sauce for flavor.

Apparently, I have been mistaken. True Latin/South American food is full of flavors ranging from their buttery white rice to their fried sweet plantains. Now I come to the main reason for my post: to explain my current obsession with plantains and why you should try them too.

Plantains are usually mistaken for unripened bananas, however, they are similar and yet vastly different from their cousin fruit. My personal fixation with plantains comes from their dexterity through cooking and preparation. Green plantains can be sliced and fried into delicious and crispy plantain chips, rivaling any bag of FritoLay concoction. Overripe plantains can be sliced and pan-fried into a syrupy, sugary dessert sweeter than any banana you’ve ever had. My personal favorite is the fried sweet plantains which can easily prepared in your kitchen or ordered at a local Latin restaurant. There are plenty of other good dishes on those menus, but I definitely guarantee you won’t be disappointed with the plantains.


2 Responses to “Plantains”

  1. Gys Says:

    Thanks for clarifying that Latin American food is much more than Tacos and TexMex flavors. We like rice and beans too, but it must be well seasoned.
    It will vary by country but we’re proud of our foods and some of us are offended when people think we all eat tacos all year round and celebrate Cinco de Mayo.

  2. Scott MacMillan Says:

    Interesting. I really want to try cooking some – here in the UK they aren’t sold in supermarkets but can be bought from African or South American gorcery shops. A South American friend of mine has said that when raw they aren’t very tasty, but in Brasil they boil them and prepare with sugar cane and cinnamon for sweet dishes, or with rice and chopped vegetables as savoury.

    An old favourite for barbacues and camping among my family is to slice open a banana vertically and insert a chocolate flake bar and/or marshamallows, then wrap it in tinfoil and barbeque to melt. Its fantastic but a VERY messy molten desert! I wonder if due to the added dexterity this would work better with Plantains… barbequed chocolate Plantains anyone?

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