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┬átortilla 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.