We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are Plantains?

Michael Pollick
By
Updated Feb 04, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Anyone who has ever accidentally eaten plantains instead of bananas will most likely not have a problem telling the two fruits apart. If bananas are the dessert, then plantains would be the mashed potatoes. They look very similar to their sweeter banana cousins, but they are much starchier in consistency and blander in taste. The fruit grows in the same tropical regions as bananas, but they are not used for the same culinary purposes.

Some sources suggest that plantains should never be eaten raw or in their unripened green stage. Others say that they can be eaten throughout their entire ripening period, but must be prepared properly for their changing taste and texture. Plantains in their earliest stages have a green skin which cannot be peeled off easily. Cooks using them at this stage often cut them into 2 inch (5 cm) sections and boil them until they are the consistency of boiled potatoes.

As plantains continue to ripen, they become more of a yellow-orange than their bright yellow banana counterparts. They are still not sweet, but their flavor is not as bland as during the green stage. Finally, plantains ripen to a dark black color just before spoiling. At the overripe stage, the fruit is almost as sweet as a banana, and can be peeled by hand. Shoppers looking for a different kind of banana for cooking should consider buying these black-skinned plantains.

Ripe plantains are often sliced and deep fried in kettles to form chips. These chips have become popular snacks in recent years, replacing bags of peanuts on some airline menus. If the fruit has ripened sufficiently, the snack may be marketed as banana chips instead. Plantains are also used in Spanish and South American restaurants as side dishes, often serving as a raised border for overfilled plates.

The name comes from the Spanish word plantanos, although local populations may also refer to the fruit as machos. Plantains can be dried and crushed into a basic flour, and the leaves are occasionally used as serving plates.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Michael Pollick
By Michael Pollick
As a frequent contributor to WiseGeek, Michael Pollick uses his passion for research and writing to cover a wide range of topics. His curiosity drives him to study subjects in-depth, resulting in informative and engaging articles. Prior to becoming a professional writer, Michael honed his skills as an English tutor, poet, voice-over artist, and DJ.
Discussion Comments
Michael Pollick
Michael Pollick
As a frequent contributor to WiseGeek, Michael Pollick uses his passion for research and writing to cover a wide range...
Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.