So you see a bunch of what looks like bananas, but they’re bigger, bright green, and thick-skinned. If you’ve ever raised an eyebrow at this shady looking banana imposter in your market or grocery, your suspicions are correct. These aren’t bananas, they’re plantains.
Plantains are members of the banana family, but they are starchier and lower in sugar, which means that when they are ripe, they will still be green in color. If you get them when they are overripe, they may have started to turn yellow or black. While a banana makes a great, raw on-the-go-snack, plantains aren’t usually eaten raw because of the high starch content.
Native to India and the Caribbean, plantains serve an important role in many traditional diets.When used in cooking they are treated more like vegetables than fruit. You’re most likely to encounter them at your favorite Latin, African, or Carribean restaurant baked, roasted or fried up in the form of a delicious savory side.
More Whatchamacallit on Food Republic: