Plantain
Overview
 
Plantain is the common name
Common name
A common name of a taxon or organism is a name in general use within a community; it is often contrasted with the scientific name for the same organism...

 for herbaceous plant
Herbaceous plant
A herbaceous plant is a plant that has leaves and stems that die down at the end of the growing season to the soil level. They have no persistent woody stem above ground...

s of the genus Musa
Musa (genus)
Musa is one of three genera in the family Musaceae; it includes bananas and plantains. There are over 50 species of Musa with a broad variety of uses....

. The fruit they produce is generally used for cooking, in contrast to the soft, sweet banana
Banana
Banana is the common name for herbaceous plants of the genus Musa and for the fruit they produce. Bananas come in a variety of sizes and colors when ripe, including yellow, purple, and red....

 (which is sometimes referred to as the dessert banana). There is a formal botanical distinction between bananas and plantains, though they are classified as cultivars of the same species.

The population of North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

 was first introduced to the fruit as banana plantain, and in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 and Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 "banana" generally refers to that variety.
Encyclopedia
Plantain is the common name
Common name
A common name of a taxon or organism is a name in general use within a community; it is often contrasted with the scientific name for the same organism...

 for herbaceous plant
Herbaceous plant
A herbaceous plant is a plant that has leaves and stems that die down at the end of the growing season to the soil level. They have no persistent woody stem above ground...

s of the genus Musa
Musa (genus)
Musa is one of three genera in the family Musaceae; it includes bananas and plantains. There are over 50 species of Musa with a broad variety of uses....

. The fruit they produce is generally used for cooking, in contrast to the soft, sweet banana
Banana
Banana is the common name for herbaceous plants of the genus Musa and for the fruit they produce. Bananas come in a variety of sizes and colors when ripe, including yellow, purple, and red....

 (which is sometimes referred to as the dessert banana). There is a formal botanical distinction between bananas and plantains, though they are classified as cultivars of the same species.

The population of North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

 was first introduced to the fruit as banana plantain, and in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 and Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 "banana" generally refers to that variety. The word "banana" is sometimes used to describe other plantain varieties, and names may reflect local uses or characteristics of varieties: cooking plantain, banana plantain, beer banana, bocadillo plantain, etc.

Plantains are classified formally
Binomial nomenclature
Binomial nomenclature is a formal system of naming species of living things by giving each a name composed of two parts, both of which use Latin grammatical forms, although they can be based on words from other languages...

 as Musa acuminata, Musa balbisiana or hybrids Musa acuminata × balbisiana, depending on their genomic constitution. The archaic scientific name Musa paradisiaca is no longer used. Most plantains come from the hybrid AAB and ABB Cultivar Groups.

All members of the genus Musa are indigenous to the tropical regions of Southeast Asia and Oceania
Oceania
Oceania is a region centered on the islands of the tropical Pacific Ocean. Conceptions of what constitutes Oceania range from the coral atolls and volcanic islands of the South Pacific to the entire insular region between Asia and the Americas, including Australasia and the Malay Archipelago...

, including the Malay Archipelago (modern Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

, Malaysia, Brunei
Brunei
Brunei , officially the State of Brunei Darussalam or the Nation of Brunei, the Abode of Peace , is a sovereign state located on the north coast of the island of Borneo, in Southeast Asia...

 and the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

) and Northern Australia
Northern Australia
The term northern Australia is generally known to include two State and Territories, being Queensland and the Northern Territory . The part of Western Australia north of latitude 26° south—a definition widely used in law and State government policy—is also usually included...

.

Description

Plantains tend to be firmer and lower in sugar content than "dessert" bananas. Bananas are almost always eaten raw, while plantains tend to be cooked or otherwise processed, and are used either when green or unripe (and therefore starch
Starch
Starch or amylum is a carbohydrate consisting of a large number of glucose units joined together by glycosidic bonds. This polysaccharide is produced by all green plants as an energy store...

y) or overripe (and therefore sweet). An average plantain has about 220 calories and is a good source of potassium and dietary fiber. Plantains are a staple food
Staple food
A staple food is one that is eaten regularly and in such quantities that it constitutes a dominant portion of a diet, and that supplies a high proportion of energy and nutrient needs. Most people live on a diet based on one or more staples...

 in the tropical regions of the world, treated in much the same way as potato
Potato
The potato is a starchy, tuberous crop from the perennial Solanum tuberosum of the Solanaceae family . The word potato may refer to the plant itself as well as the edible tuber. In the region of the Andes, there are some other closely related cultivated potato species...

es and with a similar neutral flavour and texture when the unripe fruit is cooked by steaming, boiling or frying. Regions with plantain crops include the Southern United States
Southern United States
The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—constitutes a large distinctive area in the southeastern and south-central United States...

, Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is a country off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent. Known until 1972 as Ceylon , Sri Lanka is an island surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait, and lies in the vicinity of India and the...

, Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

, Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico , officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico , is an unincorporated territory of the United States, located in the northeastern Caribbean, east of the Dominican Republic and west of both the United States Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.Puerto Rico comprises an...

, Hawaii
Hawaii
Hawaii is the newest of the 50 U.S. states , and is the only U.S. state made up entirely of islands. It is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean, southwest of the continental United States, southeast of Japan, and northeast of...

, the Caribbean
Caribbean
The Caribbean is a crescent-shaped group of islands more than 2,000 miles long separating the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, to the west and south, from the Atlantic Ocean, to the east and north...

, Central America
Central America
Central America is the central geographic region of the Americas. It is the southernmost, isthmian portion of the North American continent, which connects with South America on the southeast. When considered part of the unified continental model, it is considered a subcontinent...

, Bolivia
Bolivia
Bolivia officially known as Plurinational State of Bolivia , is a landlocked country in central South America. It is the poorest country in South America...

, Peru
Peru
Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....

, Ecuador
Ecuador
Ecuador , officially the Republic of Ecuador is a representative democratic republic in South America, bordered by Colombia on the north, Peru on the east and south, and by the Pacific Ocean to the west. It is one of only two countries in South America, along with Chile, that do not have a border...

, Colombia
Colombia
Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia , is a unitary constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments. The country is located in northwestern South America, bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by the Caribbean Sea; to the...

, Southern Brazil
Southern Region, Brazil
The South Region of Brazil is one of the five regions of Brazil. It includes the states of Paraná, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul and covers 576,409.6 km ², being the smallest portion of the country...

, the Canary Islands
Canary Islands
The Canary Islands , also known as the Canaries , is a Spanish archipelago located just off the northwest coast of mainland Africa, 100 km west of the border between Morocco and the Western Sahara. The Canaries are a Spanish autonomous community and an outermost region of the European Union...

, the countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea
Mediterranean Sea
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Anatolia and Europe, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant...

, Madeira
Madeira
Madeira is a Portuguese archipelago that lies between and , just under 400 km north of Tenerife, Canary Islands, in the north Atlantic Ocean and an outermost region of the European Union...

, Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

, Cameroon
Cameroon
Cameroon, officially the Republic of Cameroon , is a country in west Central Africa. It is bordered by Nigeria to the west; Chad to the northeast; the Central African Republic to the east; and Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and the Republic of the Congo to the south. Cameroon's coastline lies on the...

, Ghana
Ghana
Ghana , officially the Republic of Ghana, is a country located in West Africa. It is bordered by Côte d'Ivoire to the west, Burkina Faso to the north, Togo to the east, and the Gulf of Guinea to the south...

, Ivory Coast, Nigeria
Nigeria
Nigeria , officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal constitutional republic comprising 36 states and its Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The country is located in West Africa and shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in...

, Uganda
Uganda
Uganda , officially the Republic of Uganda, is a landlocked country in East Africa. Uganda is also known as the "Pearl of Africa". It is bordered on the east by Kenya, on the north by South Sudan, on the west by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, on the southwest by Rwanda, and on the south by...

, Rwanda
Rwanda
Rwanda or , officially the Republic of Rwanda , is a country in central and eastern Africa with a population of approximately 11.4 million . Rwanda is located a few degrees south of the Equator, and is bordered by Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo...

, Okinawa
Okinawa Prefecture
is one of Japan's southern prefectures. It consists of hundreds of the Ryukyu Islands in a chain over long, which extends southwest from Kyūshū to Taiwan. Okinawa's capital, Naha, is located in the southern part of Okinawa Island...

, Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

, Thailand
Thailand
Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

, India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

, Malaysia, the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

, the Pacific Islands
Pacific Islands
The Pacific Islands comprise 20,000 to 30,000 islands in the Pacific Ocean. The islands are also sometimes collectively called Oceania, although Oceania is sometimes defined as also including Australasia and the Malay Archipelago....

 and northern Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

. Farmers grow plantains as far north as Northern California
Northern California
Northern California is the northern portion of the U.S. state of California. The San Francisco Bay Area , and Sacramento as well as its metropolitan area are the main population centers...

 and as far south as KwaZulu-Natal
KwaZulu-Natal
KwaZulu-Natal is a province of South Africa. Prior to 1994, the territory now known as KwaZulu-Natal was made up of the province of Natal and the homeland of KwaZulu....

.

Taxonomy

Despite old systems of classification that incorrectly separated plantains as a different species solely because of their culinary use, they are now known to belong to the same species as dessert banana
Banana
Banana is the common name for herbaceous plants of the genus Musa and for the fruit they produce. Bananas come in a variety of sizes and colors when ripe, including yellow, purple, and red....

s. They are mostly sterile triploid hybrids between the species Musa acuminata
Musa acuminata
Musa acuminata is a species of wild banana native to Southeast Asia. It is the progenitor of modern edible bananas, along with Musa balbisiana. First cultivated by humans around 8000 years ago, it is one of the earliest examples of domesticated plants.-Taxonomy and nomenclature:Musa acuminata...

(A genome) and Musa balbisiana
Musa balbisiana
Musa balbisiana is a species of wild banana native to South Asia. It is one of the ancestors of modern cultivated bananas along with Musa acuminata. It grows lush leaves in clumps and grows with a more upright habit than most cultivated bananas. Flowers grow in inflorescences coloured red to...

(B genome). Most modern plantains belong to the AAB Group, commonly known as the 'Plantain Group' (including the Pacific plantains (including the Popoulo, Maoli, and Iholena subgroups), and the ABB Group. Another economically important plantain group includes the East African Highland bananas
East African Highland bananas
East African Highland bananas are triploid banana cultivars originating from East Africa. They are a staple food crop in Uganda and other east African countries and are used to make Matoke....

 (Mutika/Lujugira subgroup) of the AAA Group.

Scientific names that were once applied to plantains but are now invalid (synonyms
Synonym (taxonomy)
In scientific nomenclature, a synonym is a scientific name that is or was used for a taxon of organisms that also goes by a different scientific name. For example, Linnaeus was the first to give a scientific name to the Norway spruce, which he called Pinus abies...

) include:
  • Musa paradisiaca L.
  • Musa × paradisiaca L. cultigroup Plantain

Production trends

FAO
Fão
Fão is a town in Esposende Municipality in Portugal....

 reports that Uganda
Uganda
Uganda , officially the Republic of Uganda, is a landlocked country in East Africa. Uganda is also known as the "Pearl of Africa". It is bordered on the east by Kenya, on the north by South Sudan, on the west by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, on the southwest by Rwanda, and on the south by...

 was the top producer of plantain in 2005, followed by Colombia
Colombia
Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia , is a unitary constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments. The country is located in northwestern South America, bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by the Caribbean Sea; to the...

. However, plantain production is not reported for all countries in FAO production statistics.

As food

Various parts of the plantain plant have been consumed as human food since prehistory.

Steamed, boiled, grilled, baked, or fried

In countries such as Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago officially the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is an archipelagic state in the southern Caribbean, lying just off the coast of northeastern Venezuela and south of Grenada in the Lesser Antilles...

, Honduras
Honduras
Honduras is a republic in Central America. It was previously known as Spanish Honduras to differentiate it from British Honduras, which became the modern-day state of Belize...

 and Jamaica
Jamaica
Jamaica is an island nation of the Greater Antilles, in length, up to in width and 10,990 square kilometres in area. It is situated in the Caribbean Sea, about south of Cuba, and west of Hispaniola, the island harbouring the nation-states Haiti and the Dominican Republic...

, the plantain is either simply fried, boiled or added to a soup. In Kerala
Kerala
or Keralam is an Indian state located on the Malabar coast of south-west India. It was created on 1 November 1956 by the States Reorganisation Act by combining various Malayalam speaking regions....

, ripe plantain is steamed and is a popular breakfast dish. In Ghana
Ghana
Ghana , officially the Republic of Ghana, is a country located in West Africa. It is bordered by Côte d'Ivoire to the west, Burkina Faso to the north, Togo to the east, and the Gulf of Guinea to the south...

, boiled plantain is eaten with kontomire stew, cabbage stew or fante-fante (fish) stew. The boiled plantain can be mixed with groundnut paste, pepper, onion and palm oil to make eto
ETO
ETO may refer to:* Early termination option in a contract* Earned time off* Earth to orbit* Efforts to Outcomes Software* Electronics Technology Office * Electro-Technical Officer* Emitter Turn-Off thyristor* Engineering, Technology, Operations...

, which is eaten with avocado. Ripe plantains can also be fried and eaten with black eyed beans cooked in palm oil; a popular breakfast dish. Kelewele
Kelewele
Kelewele is a popular Ghanaian snack dish of fried plantains seasoned with spices. In English, it is sometimes called Hot Plantain Crisps. In Africa, kelewele is sold by street vendors, usually at night. It is sometimes served with rice and stew, peanuts, or alone as a dessert or a snack. Kelewele...

, a Ghanaian snack, is spiced ripe plantain deep fried in palm oil or vegetable oil.
In the southern United States, particularly in Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

, Louisiana
Louisiana
Louisiana is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America. Its capital is Baton Rouge and largest city is New Orleans. Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are local governments equivalent to counties...

 and Florida
Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

, plantains are most often grilled. In Nigeria
Nigeria
Nigeria , officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal constitutional republic comprising 36 states and its Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The country is located in West Africa and shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in...

, plantain is eaten boiled, fried or roasted; roasted plantain, called boli is usually eaten with palm oil or groundnut. In Guatemala
Guatemala
Guatemala is a country in Central America bordered by Mexico to the north and west, the Pacific Ocean to the southwest, Belize to the northeast, the Caribbean to the east, and Honduras and El Salvador to the southeast...

, ripe plantains are eaten boiled, fried, or in a special combination where they are boiled, mashed and then stuffed with sweetened black beans. Afterwards, they are deep fried in sunflower or corn oil. The dish is called Rellenitos de Plátano and is served as a dessert. The peel of the ripe plantain is boiled with sugar and cinnamon to produce a very rich in nutrients beverage called "Atol de Plátano".

Rootstock

The rootstock is full of fiber and starch. It is used for food in many parts. It is also used for making a type of dry curry in Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh , is one of the 28 states of India, situated on the southeastern coast of India. It is India's fourth largest state by area and fifth largest by population. Its capital and largest city by population is Hyderabad.The total GDP of Andhra Pradesh is $100 billion and is ranked third...

.
The rootstock which bears the leaves is soft and full of starch just before the flowering period, and it is used as food in Ethiopia
Ethiopia
Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

; the young shoots of several species are cooked and eaten.

Fruit

Plantains can be used for cooking at any stage of ripeness, and very ripe plantain can be eaten raw. As the plantain ripens, it becomes sweeter and its color changes from green to yellow to black, just like bananas. Green plantains are firm and starch
Starch
Starch or amylum is a carbohydrate consisting of a large number of glucose units joined together by glycosidic bonds. This polysaccharide is produced by all green plants as an energy store...

y, and resemble potatoes in flavor. Yellow plantains are softer and starchy, but sweet. Extremely ripe plantains have softer, deep yellow pulp that is much sweeter than the earlier stages of ripeness.

Plantains in the yellow to black stages can be used in sweet dishes. Steam-cooked plantains are considered a nutritious food for infants and the elderly. A ripe plantain is used as food for infants at weaning; it is mashed with a pinch of salt and is believed to be more easily digestible than ripe banana.

In the South Indian state of Kerala
Kerala
or Keralam is an Indian state located on the Malabar coast of south-west India. It was created on 1 November 1956 by the States Reorganisation Act by combining various Malayalam speaking regions....

, the large ripe yellow fruits of a local variety called Nendran are common in displays in wayside shops. A single ripe banana is a convenient and filling snack for travelers. A popular snack that goes by the name pazhampori is made by deep frying slices of the banana ( along the length)dipped in a thin batter of refined wheat flour or maida. Also popular is a preparation in which chunks of the ripe banana is sauteed with ghee- clarified butter.

The juice from peeling the plant can stain clothing and hands, and it can be very difficult to remove.

Dried flour

Plantains are also dried and ground into flour; banana meal forms an important foodstuff, with the following constituents: water 10.62%, proteins 3.55%, fat
Fat
Fats consist of a wide group of compounds that are generally soluble in organic solvents and generally insoluble in water. Chemically, fats are triglycerides, triesters of glycerol and any of several fatty acids. Fats may be either solid or liquid at room temperature, depending on their structure...

 1.15%, carbohydrate
Carbohydrate
A carbohydrate is an organic compound with the empirical formula ; that is, consists only of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, with a hydrogen:oxygen atom ratio of 2:1 . However, there are exceptions to this. One common example would be deoxyribose, a component of DNA, which has the empirical...

s 81.67% and ash 3.01%.
Dried plantain powder is mixed with a little fennel seed powder and boiled either in milk or water to feed small children till the age of one year in southern parts of India.

Drink

Plantain fruit can be brewed into an alcoholic drink
Alcoholic beverage
An alcoholic beverage is a drink containing ethanol, commonly known as alcohol. Alcoholic beverages are divided into three general classes: beers, wines, and spirits. They are legally consumed in most countries, and over 100 countries have laws regulating their production, sale, and consumption...

. In Peru, plantains are boiled and blended with water and sugar to make chapo juice.

Chips

After removing the skin, the unripe fruit can be sliced (1 to 2 mm thick) and deep-fried in hot oil to produce chips.

This thin preparation of plantain is known as tostones or plataninas in some of Central America
Central America
Central America is the central geographic region of the Americas. It is the southernmost, isthmian portion of the North American continent, which connects with South America on the southeast. When considered part of the unified continental model, it is considered a subcontinent...

n and South America
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

n countries, platanutres in Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico , officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico , is an unincorporated territory of the United States, located in the northeastern Caribbean, east of the Dominican Republic and west of both the United States Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.Puerto Rico comprises an...

, mariquitas or Chicharitas in Cuba
Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

 and Chifles in Ecuador
Ecuador
Ecuador , officially the Republic of Ecuador is a representative democratic republic in South America, bordered by Colombia on the north, Peru on the east and south, and by the Pacific Ocean to the west. It is one of only two countries in South America, along with Chile, that do not have a border...

. In Cuba, the Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is a nation on the island of La Hispaniola, part of the Greater Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean region. The western third of the island is occupied by the nation of Haiti, making Hispaniola one of two Caribbean islands that are shared by two countries...

, Guatemala
Guatemala
Guatemala is a country in Central America bordered by Mexico to the north and west, the Pacific Ocean to the southwest, Belize to the northeast, the Caribbean to the east, and Honduras and El Salvador to the southeast...

, Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico , officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico , is an unincorporated territory of the United States, located in the northeastern Caribbean, east of the Dominican Republic and west of both the United States Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.Puerto Rico comprises an...

 and Venezuela
Venezuela
Venezuela , officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , is a tropical country on the northern coast of South America. It borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east, and Brazil to the south...

, tostones refers to thicker twice-fried patties (see below).

In Haiti
Haiti
Haiti , officially the Republic of Haiti , is a Caribbean country. It occupies the western, smaller portion of the island of Hispaniola, in the Greater Antillean archipelago, which it shares with the Dominican Republic. Ayiti was the indigenous Taíno or Amerindian name for the island...

, these slices are referred to as bannan fris. When sliced thinly along the long axis of the fruit, the chips are referred to as chicharritas or mariquitas. Both dishes are very popular as snacks and appetizers.

In Guyana
Guyana
Guyana , officially the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, previously the colony of British Guiana, is a sovereign state on the northern coast of South America that is culturally part of the Anglophone Caribbean. Guyana was a former colony of the Dutch and of the British...

 and Ghana
Ghana
Ghana , officially the Republic of Ghana, is a country located in West Africa. It is bordered by Côte d'Ivoire to the west, Burkina Faso to the north, Togo to the east, and the Gulf of Guinea to the south...

 they are called "plantain chips". In Ecuador
Ecuador
Ecuador , officially the Republic of Ecuador is a representative democratic republic in South America, bordered by Colombia on the north, Peru on the east and south, and by the Pacific Ocean to the west. It is one of only two countries in South America, along with Chile, that do not have a border...

, they are called chifles.

In Colombia
Colombia
Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia , is a unitary constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments. The country is located in northwestern South America, bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by the Caribbean Sea; to the...

, a rather sweet variant of plantain chips is called tajadas or maduros, while salty, round, thicker variants are usually called patacones.

Chips fried in coconut
Coconut
The coconut palm, Cocos nucifera, is a member of the family Arecaceae . It is the only accepted species in the genus Cocos. The term coconut can refer to the entire coconut palm, the seed, or the fruit, which is not a botanical nut. The spelling cocoanut is an old-fashioned form of the word...

 oil and sprinkled with salt, called upperi or kaya varuthathu are a popular snack in the southwestern Indian state of Kerala
Kerala
or Keralam is an Indian state located on the Malabar coast of south-west India. It was created on 1 November 1956 by the States Reorganisation Act by combining various Malayalam speaking regions....

. They are an important item in Sadya, a vegetarian feast prepared during festive occasions. The chips are typically labeled "plantain chips" when they are made of green plantains that taste starchy, like potato chips.

In Honduras
Honduras
Honduras is a republic in Central America. It was previously known as Spanish Honduras to differentiate it from British Honduras, which became the modern-day state of Belize...

, they are called tajadas. If the chips are made from sweeter fruit, they are called banana chips
Banana chips
Banana chips are deep-fried and/or dried slices of bananas . They can be covered with sugar or honey and have a sweet taste, or they can be fried in oil and spices and have a salty and/or spicy taste. Variants of banana chips may be covered with chocolate instead...

. They can also be sliced vertically to create a variation known as plantain strips.

Plantain chips are also a popular treat in Jamaica
Jamaica
Jamaica is an island nation of the Greater Antilles, in length, up to in width and 10,990 square kilometres in area. It is situated in the Caribbean Sea, about south of Cuba, and west of Hispaniola, the island harbouring the nation-states Haiti and the Dominican Republic...

, Ghana
Ghana
Ghana , officially the Republic of Ghana, is a country located in West Africa. It is bordered by Côte d'Ivoire to the west, Burkina Faso to the north, Togo to the east, and the Gulf of Guinea to the south...

, Nigeria
Nigeria
Nigeria , officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal constitutional republic comprising 36 states and its Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The country is located in West Africa and shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in...

 (where it is called ipekere by the Yorubas
Yoruba people
The Yoruba people are one of the largest ethnic groups in West Africa. The majority of the Yoruba speak the Yoruba language...

), and other countries such as Guatemala, El Salvador
El Salvador
El Salvador or simply Salvador is the smallest and the most densely populated country in Central America. The country's capital city and largest city is San Salvador; Santa Ana and San Miguel are also important cultural and commercial centers in the country and in all of Central America...

, Haiti, Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico , officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico , is an unincorporated territory of the United States, located in the northeastern Caribbean, east of the Dominican Republic and west of both the United States Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.Puerto Rico comprises an...

, Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

, Colombia, Cuba, Honduras, Ecuador, Guyana, India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 and Peru
Peru
Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....

. They are also popular in other Caribbean communities.

In the southern Indian states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu is one of the 28 states of India. Its capital and largest city is Chennai. Tamil Nadu lies in the southernmost part of the Indian Peninsula and is bordered by the union territory of Pondicherry, and the states of Kerala, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh...

, where banana plants are commonly grown, plantain chips are an industry. In Kerala, different types of plantain are made into chips. They are usually cut thick, fried in coconut oil and seasoned with salt and/or spices.Sharkaravaratti is a variety of chips which is coated with jaggery, powdered ginger and cumin. In Tamilnadu, the ultra thin variety made from green plantains is common. Unlike in Kerala, coconut oil is not used for frying. These chips are typically seasoned with salt, chili powder and asafoetida
Asafoetida
Asafoetida , alternative spelling asafetida, is the dried latex exuded from the living underground rhizome or tap root of several species of Ferula, which is a perennial herb...

.

In the western/central Indian language Marathi
Marathi language
Marathi is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by the Marathi people of western and central India. It is the official language of the state of Maharashtra. There are over 68 million fluent speakers worldwide. Marathi has the fourth largest number of native speakers in India and is the fifteenth most...

, the plantain is called rajeli kela (राजेळी केळ) (literally meaning king-sized banana), and it is often used to make fried chips.

Plátanos maduros

After removing the skin, the ripened fruit can be sliced (between 3 mm and 2 cm thick) and pan fried in oil until golden brown or according to preference. In the Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is a nation on the island of La Hispaniola, part of the Greater Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean region. The western third of the island is occupied by the nation of Haiti, making Hispaniola one of two Caribbean islands that are shared by two countries...

, Ecuador
Ecuador
Ecuador , officially the Republic of Ecuador is a representative democratic republic in South America, bordered by Colombia on the north, Peru on the east and south, and by the Pacific Ocean to the west. It is one of only two countries in South America, along with Chile, that do not have a border...

, Colombia
Colombia
Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia , is a unitary constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments. The country is located in northwestern South America, bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by the Caribbean Sea; to the...

, Honduras
Honduras
Honduras is a republic in Central America. It was previously known as Spanish Honduras to differentiate it from British Honduras, which became the modern-day state of Belize...

 (where they are usually eaten with the native sour cream) and Venezuela
Venezuela
Venezuela , officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , is a tropical country on the northern coast of South America. It borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east, and Brazil to the south...

, they are also eaten baked in the oven (sometimes with cinnamon). Only salt is added to green plantains.

Plátanos maduros are a favorite in the Dominican Republic, Haiti
Haiti
Haiti , officially the Republic of Haiti , is a Caribbean country. It occupies the western, smaller portion of the island of Hispaniola, in the Greater Antillean archipelago, which it shares with the Dominican Republic. Ayiti was the indigenous Taíno or Amerindian name for the island...

, El Salvador
El Salvador
El Salvador or simply Salvador is the smallest and the most densely populated country in Central America. The country's capital city and largest city is San Salvador; Santa Ana and San Miguel are also important cultural and commercial centers in the country and in all of Central America...

, Guatemala
Guatemala
Guatemala is a country in Central America bordered by Mexico to the north and west, the Pacific Ocean to the southwest, Belize to the northeast, the Caribbean to the east, and Honduras and El Salvador to the southeast...

, Ecuador, Honduras, Panama
Panama
Panama , officially the Republic of Panama , is the southernmost country of Central America. Situated on the isthmus connecting North and South America, it is bordered by Costa Rica to the northwest, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south. The...

, Peru
Peru
Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....

, Colombia, Cuba
Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

, Suriname
Suriname
Suriname , officially the Republic of Suriname , is a country in northern South America. It borders French Guiana to the east, Guyana to the west, Brazil to the south, and on the north by the Atlantic Ocean. Suriname was a former colony of the British and of the Dutch, and was previously known as...

, Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico , officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico , is an unincorporated territory of the United States, located in the northeastern Caribbean, east of the Dominican Republic and west of both the United States Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.Puerto Rico comprises an...

 (where they are called amarillos), Jamaica
Jamaica
Jamaica is an island nation of the Greater Antilles, in length, up to in width and 10,990 square kilometres in area. It is situated in the Caribbean Sea, about south of Cuba, and west of Hispaniola, the island harbouring the nation-states Haiti and the Dominican Republic...

, Trinidad & Tobago and most of the English-speaking Caribbean (although just called plantain), Nicaragua
Nicaragua
Nicaragua is the largest country in the Central American American isthmus, bordered by Honduras to the north and Costa Rica to the south. The country is situated between 11 and 14 degrees north of the Equator in the Northern Hemisphere, which places it entirely within the tropics. The Pacific Ocean...

 and in Venezuela. In Costa Rica
Costa Rica
Costa Rica , officially the Republic of Costa Rica is a multilingual, multiethnic and multicultural country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Caribbean Sea to the east....

, they are sprinkled with sugar
Sugar
Sugar is a class of edible crystalline carbohydrates, mainly sucrose, lactose, and fructose, characterized by a sweet flavor.Sucrose in its refined form primarily comes from sugar cane and sugar beet...

. In western Nigeria
Nigeria
Nigeria , officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal constitutional republic comprising 36 states and its Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The country is located in West Africa and shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in...

, fried, sliced plantains are known as dodo, and in Cameroon
Cameroon
Cameroon, officially the Republic of Cameroon , is a country in west Central Africa. It is bordered by Nigeria to the west; Chad to the northeast; the Central African Republic to the east; and Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and the Republic of the Congo to the south. Cameroon's coastline lies on the...

, they are known as missole. In Venezuela, the ripe fruit is cut lengthwise, 3–4 mm thick, and fried until golden and sticky, as a very popular side dish called tajadas; they are an integral piece of the national dish, pabellon criollo. And in Ghana as well, it is used for fufu, chips, and a whole lots of other food preparations.

Banana cue, Turrón and Arroz a la Cubana

In the Philippines, Banana cue
Banana cue
A Banana cue or Banana Q is a popular snack food in the Philippines of deep fried bananas coated in caramelized brown sugar. Banana cue is made from Saba bananas. It is usually skewered on a bamboo stick, and is sold on the streets. The skewer stick is just for ease of serving and eating. It is...

 is a popular snack. The portmanteau 'Banana cue' may be a misnomer as it is not really cooked in a skewer over hot embers like a barbecue. Rather, the peeled flesh of an under ripe plantain is fried in hot oil over medium fire before it is held in a skewer ready for sale. There are two ways to prepare a banana cue. One way is to fry the peeled banana in oil with some amount of brown sugar thrown in to caramelize the flesh. Another way is to fry the flesh in oil until done. When done, they are scooped out of the cooking pan and placed on a dripping pan to allow the oil to drip, before a generous amount of refined sugar is sprinkled over them. A variant from Mindanao
Mindanao
Mindanao is the second largest and easternmost island in the Philippines. It is also the name of one of the three island groups in the country, which consists of the island of Mindanao and smaller surrounding islands. The other two are Luzon and the Visayas. The island of Mindanao is called The...

, known as Ginanggang
Ginanggang
Ginanggang, guinanggang, or ginang-gang is a snack food of grilled skewered bananas brushed with margarine and sprinkled with sugar. It originates from the island of Mindanao in the Philippines....

, is different in that it is actually grilled over charcoal.

Philippine plantains (called Saba or Cardaba Bananas
Saba banana
Saba banana, also known as Cardaba banana, is a triploid hybrid banana cultivar originating from the Philippines. It is primarily a cooking banana though it can also be eaten raw. It is one of the most important banana varieties in Philippine cuisine....

) are much smaller than the Latin America
Latin America
Latin America is a region of the Americas where Romance languages  – particularly Spanish and Portuguese, and variably French – are primarily spoken. Latin America has an area of approximately 21,069,500 km² , almost 3.9% of the Earth's surface or 14.1% of its land surface area...

n varieties, usually around 4-5 inches and somewhat boxy in shape. They are eaten mostly in their ripe stage as a dessert or sweet snack, often simply boiled, in syrup, or sliced lengthwise and fried, then sprinkled with sugar. They are also quite popular in this fried form (without the sugar) in the local dish, Arroz a la Cubana, consisting of minced picadillo-style seasoned beef, white rice, and fried eggs, with fried plantains on the side. In addition, there is the equally popular merienda
Merienda
Merienda is a light meal in Southern Europe , Latin America, and the Philippines. Usually taken in the afternoon or for brunch, it fills in the meal gap between lunch at noon and dinner, or between breakfast and lunch...

snack, Turrón
Turrón (Filipino cuisine)
Turon , also known as Banana Lumpia, is a Philippine snack made of thinly sliced bananas and a slice of jackfruit, dusted with brown sugar, rolled in spring roll wrapper and fried...

, where ripe plantains are sliced and then wrapped in lumpia wrapper (a thin rice paper) and deep-fried. Turron is then finished off with a brown sugar glaze.

The traditional South America
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

n style large plantains (grown in the Southern Philippines) are now increasingly available in local Filipino
Filipino people
The Filipino people or Filipinos are an Austronesian ethnic group native to the islands of the Philippines. There are about 92 million Filipinos in the Philippines, and about 11 million living outside the Philippines ....

 markets.

Ash plantains

Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is a country off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent. Known until 1972 as Ceylon , Sri Lanka is an island surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait, and lies in the vicinity of India and the...

's ash plantains called alu kesel (අළු කෙසෙල්) are generally used for cooking. On some occasions, they are used in Ayurvedic medicine. Plantain flower also called as kesel mala (or kehelmala or kesel muwa).

Tajadas

In Honduras
Honduras
Honduras is a republic in Central America. It was previously known as Spanish Honduras to differentiate it from British Honduras, which became the modern-day state of Belize...

, Venezuela
Venezuela
Venezuela , officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , is a tropical country on the northern coast of South America. It borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east, and Brazil to the south...

 and Central Colombia
Colombia
Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia , is a unitary constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments. The country is located in northwestern South America, bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by the Caribbean Sea; to the...

, fried ripened plantain slices are known as tajadas. They are customary in most typical meals, such as the Venezuelan pabellón criollo
Pabellón criollo
Pabellón criollo is a traditional Venezuelan dish, the local version of the rice and beans combination found throughout the Caribbean. It is a plate of rice, shredded beef and stewed black beans that is considered by many to be the Venezuelan national dish....

. The host or waiter may also offer them as barandas (guard rails), in common slang, as the long slices are typically placed on the sides of a full dish, and therefore look as such. Some variations include adding honey or sugar and frying the slices in butter, to obtain a golden caramel; the result has a sweeter taste and a characteristic pleasant smell. The same slices are known as maduros in Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico , officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico , is an unincorporated territory of the United States, located in the northeastern Caribbean, east of the Dominican Republic and west of both the United States Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.Puerto Rico comprises an...

 and the Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is a nation on the island of La Hispaniola, part of the Greater Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean region. The western third of the island is occupied by the nation of Haiti, making Hispaniola one of two Caribbean islands that are shared by two countries...

.

In Honduras, they are a popular takeaway food, usually with fried chicken, though they are also regularly eaten at home. They are popular chips sold in pulperias (minimarkets). In Panama
Panama
Panama , officially the Republic of Panama , is the southernmost country of Central America. Situated on the isthmus connecting North and South America, it is bordered by Costa Rica to the northwest, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south. The...

, tajadas are eaten daily together with steamed rice, meat and beans, thus making up an essential part of the Panamanian diet, as with Honduras.

By contrast, in Nicaragua
Nicaragua
Nicaragua is the largest country in the Central American American isthmus, bordered by Honduras to the north and Costa Rica to the south. The country is situated between 11 and 14 degrees north of the Equator in the Northern Hemisphere, which places it entirely within the tropics. The Pacific Ocean...

, tajadas are fried unripened plantain slices, and are traditionally served in a fritanga
Fritanga
In Nicaragua, a fritanga is the name used for restaurants that make authentic home cooked Nicaraguan foods. The staple foods at a fritanga are Gallo Pinto , arroz blanco , carne asada , tajada frita , platano frito , maduros , yuca, queso frito , tortilla and...

or with fried pork, or on their own on green banana leaves, either with a cabbage salad or fresh cheese.

On Colombia's Caribbean coast, tajadas of fried green plantain are consumed along with grilled meats, and are the dietary equivalent of the French-fried potatoes/chips of Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 and North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

.

Tostones, Patacones and Tachinos

Tostones (also known as patacones in Colombia, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Panama and Ecuador) are twice-fried plantain patties, often served as a side, appetizer, or snack. Plantains are sliced in 4 cm (1.5 in) long pieces and fried in oil. The segments are then removed and individually smashed down either with a bottle's bottom side, or with a tostonera, to about half their original height. Finally, the pieces are fried again and then seasoned to taste, often with salt. In some countries, such as Haiti
Haiti
Haiti , officially the Republic of Haiti , is a Caribbean country. It occupies the western, smaller portion of the island of Hispaniola, in the Greater Antillean archipelago, which it shares with the Dominican Republic. Ayiti was the indigenous Taíno or Amerindian name for the island...

, Cuba
Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

, Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico , officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico , is an unincorporated territory of the United States, located in the northeastern Caribbean, east of the Dominican Republic and west of both the United States Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.Puerto Rico comprises an...

 and Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is a nation on the island of La Hispaniola, part of the Greater Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean region. The western third of the island is occupied by the nation of Haiti, making Hispaniola one of two Caribbean islands that are shared by two countries...

, the tostones are dipped in creole sauce from chicken, pork, beef, or shrimp before eating. In some South American countries, the name tostones is used to describe this food when prepared at home and also plantain chips (mentioned above), which are typically purchased from a store. In western Venezuela
Venezuela
Venezuela , officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , is a tropical country on the northern coast of South America. It borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east, and Brazil to the south...

, patacones are very popular. Plantains are again sliced in long pieces and fried in oil, then they are used to make sandwiches with pork, beef, chicken, vegetables and ketchup. They can be made with unripe patacon verde or ripe patacon amarillo plantains.

Fufu de platano

Fufu de platano is a traditional and very popular lunch dish in Cuba. It is a fufu
Fufu
Fufu, , is a staple snack of West and Central Africa. It is a thick paste usually made by boiling starchy root vegetables in water and pounding with a mortar and pestle until the desired consistency is reached...

made by boiling the plantains in water and mashing with a fork. The fufu is then mixed with chicken stock and sofrito
Sofrito
Sofrito is a combination of aromatic ingredients which have been cut in very small pieces, and slowly sauteed or braised in cooking oil for 15-30 minutes....

, a sauce made from lard, garlic, onions, pepper, tomato sauce, a touch of vinegar and cumin. The texture of Cuban fufu is similar to the mofongo
Mofongo
Mofongo is a fried plantain-based dish from Puerto Rico. There are also similar dishes, made by boiling and mashing plantains, known as fufu de plátano in Cuban cuisine and Mangú in the Dominican Republic.-Description:...

consumed in other Caribbean areas, but it is not formed into a ball. Fufu is also a common centuries-old traditional dish made in Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon and other West & Central African countries. It is made in a similar fashion as the Cuban fufu, but is pounded, and has a thick paste, putty-like texture which is then formed into a ball. West African fufu is sometimes separately made with cassava, yams
Yam (vegetable)
Yam is the common name for some species in the genus Dioscorea . These are perennial herbaceous vines cultivated for the consumption of their starchy tubers in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Oceania...

 or made with plantains combined with cassava
Cassava
Cassava , also called yuca or manioc, a woody shrub of the Euphorbiaceae native to South America, is extensively cultivated as an annual crop in tropical and subtropical regions for its edible starchy tuberous root, a major source of carbohydrates...

.

Yo-yo

In Venezuela
Venezuela
Venezuela , officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , is a tropical country on the northern coast of South America. It borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east, and Brazil to the south...

, a yo-yo is a traditional dish made of two short slices of fried ripened plantain (see Tajadas) placed on top of each other, with local soft white cheese in the middle (in a sandwich-like fashion) and held together with toothpicks. The arrangement is dipped in beaten eggs and fried again until the cheese melts and the yo-yo acquires a deep golden hue. They are served as sides or entrees.

Chifles

Chifles is the Spanish term used in Peru
Peru
Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....

, Colombia
Colombia
Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia , is a unitary constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments. The country is located in northwestern South America, bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by the Caribbean Sea; to the...

 and Ecuador
Ecuador
Ecuador , officially the Republic of Ecuador is a representative democratic republic in South America, bordered by Colombia on the north, Peru on the east and south, and by the Pacific Ocean to the west. It is one of only two countries in South America, along with Chile, that do not have a border...

 for fried green plantains sliced (1 or 2 mm thick); it is also used to describe plantain chips which are sliced thinner.

Mofongo

Originating from Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico , officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico , is an unincorporated territory of the United States, located in the northeastern Caribbean, east of the Dominican Republic and west of both the United States Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.Puerto Rico comprises an...

 and popular in the Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is a nation on the island of La Hispaniola, part of the Greater Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean region. The western third of the island is occupied by the nation of Haiti, making Hispaniola one of two Caribbean islands that are shared by two countries...

, and essentially akin to the Cuban fufu
Fufu
Fufu, , is a staple snack of West and Central Africa. It is a thick paste usually made by boiling starchy root vegetables in water and pounding with a mortar and pestle until the desired consistency is reached...

, mofongo is made by mashing tostones
Tostones
Tostones or patacones are a popular side dish in many Latin American countries. The dish is made from sliced green plantains cut either length-wise or width-wise and are twice fried...

in a mortar or food processor with little olive oil and stock. Garlic and pork cracklings, bacon, chicken, shellfish, vegetables, spices, or herbs are also added. The resulting mixture is formed into cylinders the size of about two fists and eaten warm, usually with chicken stock or broth.

Mofongo relleno, meaning stuffed, may contain stewed beef, chicken or seafood poured in a center crater formed with the serving spoon.

Alcapurria

Alcapurria is a type of savory Puerto Rican
Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico , officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico , is an unincorporated territory of the United States, located in the northeastern Caribbean, east of the Dominican Republic and west of both the United States Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.Puerto Rico comprises an...

 fritter
Fritter
A fritter is any kind of food coated in batter and deep fried. Although very similar to a doughnut it differs in the fact that it requires some base ingredient beyond the dough it is cooked with.-Anglo-American fritters:...

. Although usually consisting mainly of yautía, they also typically contain plantains, as well as the possible additions of green bananas
Banana
Banana is the common name for herbaceous plants of the genus Musa and for the fruit they produce. Bananas come in a variety of sizes and colors when ripe, including yellow, purple, and red....

 and/or other tropical tubers found on the island. The plantains and tubers are mashed into a masa
Masa
Masa is Spanish for dough. In the Americas it is often short for masa de maíz, a maize dough made from freshly prepared hominy. It is used for making corn tortillas, tamales, pupusas, arepas and many other Latin American dishes. The dried and powdered form is called masa harina, masa de harina,...

(dough) that is used to encase a filling of ground meat (picadillo
Picadillo
Picadillo is a traditional dish in many Latin American countries and the Philippines that is similar to hash...

), which are then deep fried.

Piononos

A popular Caribbean dish which originated in Puerto Rico is called Piononos or relleno de amarillos, sweet plantain mashed with egg and flour, stuffed with raisins, olives, capers, ground meat and spices, then rolled into a ball and fried.

Pastelon de amarillos

Pastelon de amarillos is a traditional Puerto Rican dish also seen in Dominican cuisine
Dominican cuisine
Dominican cuisine may refer to:* Cuisine of Dominica, cuisine commonly eaten in the country Dominica.* Cuisine of the Dominican Republic, cuisine commonly eaten in the Dominican Republic....

; similar to lasagne, it uses sweet plantains to replace the pasta. The dish in English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 is known as Puerto Rican lasagne or Latin lasagne.

Mangú

A traditional mangú from the Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is a nation on the island of La Hispaniola, part of the Greater Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean region. The western third of the island is occupied by the nation of Haiti, making Hispaniola one of two Caribbean islands that are shared by two countries...

 consists of peeled green, boiled plantains, mashed and softened with butter or oil and enough hot water they were boiled in so the consistency is a little stiffer that mashed potatoes. It is traditionally eaten for breakfast, topped with sautéed onions and accompanied by fried eggs, fried cheese or salami and avocado.

Dodo

Plantain is popular in West Africa
West Africa
West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of the African continent. Geopolitically, the UN definition of Western Africa includes the following 16 countries and an area of approximately 5 million square km:-Flags of West Africa:...

, especially Cameroon
Cameroon
Cameroon, officially the Republic of Cameroon , is a country in west Central Africa. It is bordered by Nigeria to the west; Chad to the northeast; the Central African Republic to the east; and Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and the Republic of the Congo to the south. Cameroon's coastline lies on the...

, Bénin and Nigeria
Nigeria
Nigeria , officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal constitutional republic comprising 36 states and its Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The country is located in West Africa and shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in...

; when ripe plantain is fried, it is generally called dodo (dough - dough). The ripe plantain is usually sliced diagonally for a large oval shape, then fried in oil to a golden brown color. This can be eaten as such, with stew or served with beans or on rice.

In Ikire, a town in Western Nigeria, there is a special and unique way of preparing plantain chips. This is popularly called Dodo Ikire. Dodo Ikire is made from overripe plantain, chopped in small pieces, sprinkled with chili pepper
Chili pepper
Chili pepper is the fruit of plants from the genus Capsicum, members of the nightshade family, Solanaceae. The term in British English and in Australia, New Zealand, India, Malaysia and other Asian countries is just chilli without pepper.Chili peppers originated in the Americas...

 and fried in boiling point palm oil
Palm oil
Palm oil, coconut oil and palm kernel oil are edible plant oils derived from the fruits of palm trees. Palm oil is extracted from the pulp of the fruit of the oil palm Elaeis guineensis; palm kernel oil is derived from the kernel of the oil palm and coconut oil is derived from the kernel of the...

. The fried plantain chips are then stuffed carefully into a special conically shaped woven basket of about 10 centimeters high. This special dodo can have a preservative quality that lasts up to two months without refrigeration.

Boli

Boli is the term used for roasted plantain in Nigeria
Nigeria
Nigeria , officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal constitutional republic comprising 36 states and its Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The country is located in West Africa and shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in...

. The plantain is usually grilled and served with roasted fish, ground peanut
Peanut
The peanut, or groundnut , is a species in the legume or "bean" family , so it is not a nut. The peanut was probably first cultivated in the valleys of Peru. It is an annual herbaceous plant growing tall...

s and a hot palm oil sauce. It is very popular as a lunch snack in southern and western Nigeria, for example in Rivers
Rivers State
Rivers State is one of the 36 states of Nigeria. Its capital is Port Harcourt. It is bounded on the South by the Atlantic Ocean, to the North by Imo, Abia and Anambra States, to the East by Akwa Ibom State and to the West by Bayelsa and Delta states...

 and Lagos state
Lagos State
Lagos State is an administrative division of Nigeria, located in the southwestern part of the country. The smallest in area of Nigeria's states, Lagos State is the most populous state in Nigeria and arguably the most economically important state of the country and west Africa, containing Lagos, the...

s. It is popular among the working class
Working class
Working class is a term used in the social sciences and in ordinary conversation to describe those employed in lower tier jobs , often extending to those in unemployment or otherwise possessing below-average incomes...

 as a quick midday
Midday
Midday is a television show that aired on Australia's Nine Network from 1985-1998. The show aired, like its title suggests, at noon on every weekday and was a 90 minute variety programme with international and local guests. It featured interviews, musical performances and comedy spots...

 meal.

Matooke

Matooke or Matoke is a plantain dish common in Uganda
Uganda
Uganda , officially the Republic of Uganda, is a landlocked country in East Africa. Uganda is also known as the "Pearl of Africa". It is bordered on the east by Kenya, on the north by South Sudan, on the west by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, on the southwest by Rwanda, and on the south by...

, Tanzania
Tanzania
The United Republic of Tanzania is a country in East Africa bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the north, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west, and Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique to the south. The country's eastern borders lie on the Indian Ocean.Tanzania is a state...

, Rwanda
Rwanda
Rwanda or , officially the Republic of Rwanda , is a country in central and eastern Africa with a population of approximately 11.4 million . Rwanda is located a few degrees south of the Equator, and is bordered by Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo...

 and eastern Congo
Democratic Republic of the Congo
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is a state located in Central Africa. It is the second largest country in Africa by area and the eleventh largest in the world...

. The plantains are peeled, wrapped in the plant's leaves and set in a cooking pot (sufuria
Sufuria
A Sufuria is a Swahili language word, adopted in East African English, for a flat based, deep sided, lipped and handleless cooking pot or container, ubiquitous in Kenya, parts of Tanzania and surrounding nations...

) on the stalks which have been removed from the leaves. The pot is then placed on a charcoal fire and the matoke is steamed for a couple of hours in water placed in the bottom of the cooking pot. While uncooked, the matoke is white and fairly hard. Cooking turns it soft and yellow. The matoke is then mashed while still wrapped in the leaves, and often is served on a fresh leaf, then eaten with a sauce made of vegetables, ground peanut or some type of meat (goat meat and beef are common).

Ethakka appam

Ethakka appam, pazham (banana) boli or pazham pori are terms used for fried plantain in Kerala
Kerala
or Keralam is an Indian state located on the Malabar coast of south-west India. It was created on 1 November 1956 by the States Reorganisation Act by combining various Malayalam speaking regions....

. The plantain is usually dipped in sweetened rice and white flour batter and then fried in coconut or vegetable oil. It is a very popular snack among Keralites. This is very similar to pisang goreng
Pisang goreng
Pisang goreng is a snack food mostly found throughout Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. In Singapore and some parts of Malaysia it is known as "goreng pisang" . It is consumed as a snack in the morning and afternoon...

 (Indonesian
Indonesian language
Indonesian is the official language of Indonesia. Indonesian is a normative form of the Riau Islands dialect of Malay, an Austronesian language which has been used as a lingua franca in the Indonesian archipelago for centuries....

 for fried bananas), which is a dessert common to Malaysia, Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

 and Singapore
Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

.

Aloco

Plantains are used in the Ivory Coast dish aloco as the main ingredient. Fried plantains are covered in an onion-tomato sauce, often with a grilled fish between the plantains and sauce.

Plantain flowers

Each pseudostem of a plantain plant will flower only once, and all the flowers grow at the end of its shoot in a large bunch consisting of multiple hands with individual fingers (the fruits). Only the first few hands will become fruits.

In the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

, the plantain inflorescence (particularly those from Saba Banana
Saba banana
Saba banana, also known as Cardaba banana, is a triploid hybrid banana cultivar originating from the Philippines. It is primarily a cooking banana though it can also be eaten raw. It is one of the most important banana varieties in Philippine cuisine....

s), locally known as Puso ng Saging (Banana hearts) are eaten. In Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam – sometimes spelled Viet Nam , officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea –...

, the young male flower, at the end of the bunch, is used in salads. In the cuisine of Laos
Cuisine of Laos
Lao cuisine is the cuisine of Laos, which is distinct from other Southeast Asian cuisines. Laos shares borders with neighboring countries and as a result, Lao cuisine has strongly influenced the neighboring cuisine of Northeastern Thailand and some Lao culinary influences have also reached...

, the plantain flower is typically eaten raw in vermicelli
Vermicelli
Vermicelli is a traditional type of pasta round in section that is thicker than spaghetti.-Vermicelli thickness comparison:In USA, the National Pasta Association, founded in 1904, lists, together with various spelling mistakes, vermicelli as a thinner type of spaghetti.-History in Italy:In...

 soups. A type of poriyal (dry curry
Curry
Curry is a generic description used throughout Western culture to describe a variety of dishes from Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Sri Lankan, Thai or other Southeast Asian cuisines...

) is made from plantain flowers in Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh , is one of the 28 states of India, situated on the southeastern coast of India. It is India's fourth largest state by area and fifth largest by population. Its capital and largest city by population is Hyderabad.The total GDP of Andhra Pradesh is $100 billion and is ranked third...

 and Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu is one of the 28 states of India. Its capital and largest city is Chennai. Tamil Nadu lies in the southernmost part of the Indian Peninsula and is bordered by the union territory of Pondicherry, and the states of Kerala, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh...

. Thoran
Thoran
Thoran or Upperi is a Kerala cuisine dish . This popular and common dish is usually prepared to be eaten along with steamed rice...

 is made in Kerala
Kerala
or Keralam is an Indian state located on the Malabar coast of south-west India. It was created on 1 November 1956 by the States Reorganisation Act by combining various Malayalam speaking regions....

 with the end of the bunch (called "koompu" in Malayalam) and is considered to be highly nutritious. In Karnataka
Karnataka
Karnataka , the land of the Kannadigas, is a state in South West India. It was created on 1 November 1956, with the passing of the States Reorganisation Act and this day is annually celebrated as Karnataka Rajyotsava...

, the inflorescence is used to make sweet and sour gojju (a gravy
Gravy
Gravy is a sauce made often from the juices that run naturally from meat or vegetables during cooking. In North America the term can refer to a wider variety of sauces and gravy is often thicker than in Britain...

 dish).

Plantain leaves

Plantain leaves can exceed two meters in length. They are similar to banana leaves, but are larger and stronger, thus reducing waste in cooking. In Latin America, plantain leaves are lightly smoked over an open fire, which improves storage properties, flavor and aroma. In Venezuela
Venezuela
Venezuela , officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , is a tropical country on the northern coast of South America. It borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east, and Brazil to the south...

, they are fairly widely available in grocery stores or open air markets and are used as wrappers in hallaca
Hallaca
In Venezuelan cuisine, an hallaca typically involves a mixture of beef, pork, chicken, capers, raisins, and olives wrapped in maize , bound with string within plantain leaves, and boiled or steamed afterwards. It is typically served during the Christmas holiday...

s
. In Nicaragua
Nicaragua
Nicaragua is the largest country in the Central American American isthmus, bordered by Honduras to the north and Costa Rica to the south. The country is situated between 11 and 14 degrees north of the Equator in the Northern Hemisphere, which places it entirely within the tropics. The Pacific Ocean...

, they wrap nacatamal
Nacatamal
A nacatamal is a Nicaraguan dish similar to the tamal and yet unlike the tamales typical of Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and elsewhere in Latin America, the nacatamal is unique to Nicaragua both in its name and its culinary combination...

es
, as well as vigoron
Vigoron
Vigorón is a traditional Nicaraguan dish. It consists of a cabbage salad known as curtido , boiled yuca, and chicharrones wrapped in plantain...

, vaho
Vaho
Vaho is a mix of meat, green plantains and yuca cooked in banana leaves. It is a traditional Nicaraguan dish originated from the mix of cultures between the indigenous, mestizos and afro-Nicaraguans of the country....

and other dishes. In Guatemala
Guatemala
Guatemala is a country in Central America bordered by Mexico to the north and west, the Pacific Ocean to the southwest, Belize to the northeast, the Caribbean to the east, and Honduras and El Salvador to the southeast...

, Peru
Peru
Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....

, El Salvador
El Salvador
El Salvador or simply Salvador is the smallest and the most densely populated country in Central America. The country's capital city and largest city is San Salvador; Santa Ana and San Miguel are also important cultural and commercial centers in the country and in all of Central America...

, Honduras
Honduras
Honduras is a republic in Central America. It was previously known as Spanish Honduras to differentiate it from British Honduras, which became the modern-day state of Belize...

, Costa Rica
Costa Rica
Costa Rica , officially the Republic of Costa Rica is a multilingual, multiethnic and multicultural country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Caribbean Sea to the east....

, Panama
Panama
Panama , officially the Republic of Panama , is the southernmost country of Central America. Situated on the isthmus connecting North and South America, it is bordered by Costa Rica to the northwest, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south. The...

, and Colombia
Colombia
Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia , is a unitary constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments. The country is located in northwestern South America, bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by the Caribbean Sea; to the...

, plantain leaves are usually used to wrap tamale
Tamale
A tamale — or more correctly tamal — is a traditional Latin American dish made of masa , which is steamed or boiled in a leaf wrapper. The wrapping is discarded before eating...

s
before and while cooking, and they can be used to wrap any kind of seasoned meat while cooking to keep the flavor in. The plantain is the main food source of the Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is a nation on the island of La Hispaniola, part of the Greater Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean region. The western third of the island is occupied by the nation of Haiti, making Hispaniola one of two Caribbean islands that are shared by two countries...

, and is used just as much as, if not more than, rice. Mangu
Mangú (dish)
Mangú is a Dominican traditional side dish served for breakfast, lunch or dinner. In Cuba, and parts of Africa it is known as fufu.- Etymology :...

and sancocho
Sancocho
Sancocho is a traditional soup in several Spanish and Latin American cuisines. Variations represent popular national dishes in the Canary Islands of Spain, Mexico, Ecuador, Colombia, Panama, Peru, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela...

are two signature dishes that involve the plantain. Puerto Rican pasteles
Pasteles
Pasteles are a traditional dish in several Latin American countries. In Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Trinidad and Tobago, the Caribbean coast of Colombia, and Panama, it is similar to a tamale. In Central American cuisine, it more closely resembles a British pasty or an Italian calzone.In...

are made primarily with fresh green banana dough stuffed with pork, and then wrapped in plantain leaves which have been softened at the fire. Similarly, in Africa, plantain leaves are dried and used to wrap corn dough before it is boiled to make fanti kenkey
Kenkey
Kenkey or Dokonu or Komi is a staple dish similar to a sourdough dumpling from the Akan, Ga and Ewe inhabited regions of West Africa, usually served with a soup, stew, or sauce. Areas where Kenkey are eaten are southern Ghana, eastern Côte d'Ivoire, Togo, western Benin and Jamaica. It is usually...

, a Ghana
Ghana
Ghana , officially the Republic of Ghana, is a country located in West Africa. It is bordered by Côte d'Ivoire to the west, Burkina Faso to the north, Togo to the east, and the Gulf of Guinea to the south...

ian dish eaten with ground pepper, onions, tomatoes and fish.

Traditionally, plantain leaves are used like plates while serving South India
South India
South India is the area encompassing India's states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu as well as the union territories of Lakshadweep and Pondicherry, occupying 19.31% of India's area...

n thali
Thali
Thali is a Western, Central, and North-Western Indian meal with contents varying from one region to another. More usual and famous thalis are Maharashtrian, Gujarati and Rajasthani. A thali is a selection of different dishes, usually served in small bowls on a round tray. The round tray is...

 or during Sadya. A traditional southern Indian meal is served on a plantain leaf with the position of the different food items on the leaf having an importance. They also have a religious significance in many Hindu
Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

 rituals. They add a subtle, but essential, aroma to the dish. In the Indian state of Kerala
Kerala
or Keralam is an Indian state located on the Malabar coast of south-west India. It was created on 1 November 1956 by the States Reorganisation Act by combining various Malayalam speaking regions....

, a food preparation called ada
Ada (food)
Ada or Ela Ada, is a traditional Kerala delicacy, consisting of rice parcels encased in a dough made of rice flour, with sweet fillings, steamed in banana leaf and served as an evening snack or as part of breakfast. It can be seen even in parts of Tamil Nadu as well.Grated coconut and rice flour...

is made in plantain leaves. Plantain leaves are also used in making karimeen pollichathu in Kerala
Kerala
or Keralam is an Indian state located on the Malabar coast of south-west India. It was created on 1 November 1956 by the States Reorganisation Act by combining various Malayalam speaking regions....

. In the South Indian states of Karnataka
Karnataka
Karnataka , the land of the Kannadigas, is a state in South West India. It was created on 1 November 1956, with the passing of the States Reorganisation Act and this day is annually celebrated as Karnataka Rajyotsava...

, Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh , is one of the 28 states of India, situated on the southeastern coast of India. It is India's fourth largest state by area and fifth largest by population. Its capital and largest city by population is Hyderabad.The total GDP of Andhra Pradesh is $100 billion and is ranked third...

 and Tamilnadu, plantain leaves is used to serve food during festivals or special occasions. People use the leaves as a cooking foil for steaming idlis (steamed rice cakes) and kozhukkatais (steamed rice dumplings). It is also widely used as a packaging material for packing food and flowers (though this is now replaced widely by plastics). It has similar usage for certain kinds of food in the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

 as well.

Plantain shoot

After harvesting the fruit, the plantain plant can be cut and the layers peeled (like an onion
Onion
The onion , also known as the bulb onion, common onion and garden onion, is the most widely cultivated species of the genus Allium. The genus Allium also contains a number of other species variously referred to as onions and cultivated for food, such as the Japanese bunching onion The onion...

) to get a cylinder
Cylinder (geometry)
A cylinder is one of the most basic curvilinear geometric shapes, the surface formed by the points at a fixed distance from a given line segment, the axis of the cylinder. The solid enclosed by this surface and by two planes perpendicular to the axis is also called a cylinder...

-shaped soft shoot. In the South Indian states of Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh , is one of the 28 states of India, situated on the southeastern coast of India. It is India's fourth largest state by area and fifth largest by population. Its capital and largest city by population is Hyderabad.The total GDP of Andhra Pradesh is $100 billion and is ranked third...

 and Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu is one of the 28 states of India. Its capital and largest city is Chennai. Tamil Nadu lies in the southernmost part of the Indian Peninsula and is bordered by the union territory of Pondicherry, and the states of Kerala, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh...

, plantain shoot is chopped into fine pieces and made as a salad or a dry curry
Curry
Curry is a generic description used throughout Western culture to describe a variety of dishes from Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Sri Lankan, Thai or other Southeast Asian cuisines...

 (often seasoned with coconut and green chillies), or as a wet curry (with yogurt, red chillies and coconut). Plantain shoot is considered rich in fibres, and is considered as a very good remedy for avoiding constipation. Regular intake of the juice squeezed from the shoot or the shoot consumed as a salad is considered by the locals as a sure cure for various ailments, such as stomach ulcers and kidney stones.
This can be chopped and first steamed, then fried with masala
Masala
Masala or massala is a term used in South Asian cuisines to mostly describe a mixture of spices. A masala can either be a combination of dried spices, or a paste made from a mixture of spices and other ingredients—often garlic, ginger, onions and chilli paste...

 powder, to make an excellent dish. This dish is called posola
Posola
Posola in Assamese cuisine is a food made with the inner part of banana shoots. The bark is peeled off and the tender inner part of the banana stem cut into small pieces. Onions, garlic, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds are fried in oil until they split and then the banana stem pieces...

in Assamese
Assamese language
Assamese is the easternmost Indo-Aryan language. It is used mainly in the state of Assam in North-East India. It is also the official language of Assam. It is also spoken in parts of Arunachal Pradesh and other northeast Indian states. Nagamese, an Assamese-based Creole language is widely used in...

 and a distinct part of Assamese cuisine
Cuisine of Assam
Assamese cuisine is the cuisine of Assam, a state in North-East India. It is a style of cooking that is a confluence of cooking habits of the hills that favor fermentation and drying as forms of food preservation, and those from the plains that provide fresh vegetables and abundance of fish from...

. In Kerala
Kerala
or Keralam is an Indian state located on the Malabar coast of south-west India. It was created on 1 November 1956 by the States Reorganisation Act by combining various Malayalam speaking regions....

 and Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh , is one of the 28 states of India, situated on the southeastern coast of India. It is India's fourth largest state by area and fifth largest by population. Its capital and largest city by population is Hyderabad.The total GDP of Andhra Pradesh is $100 billion and is ranked third...

, a thoran
Thoran
Thoran or Upperi is a Kerala cuisine dish . This popular and common dish is usually prepared to be eaten along with steamed rice...

 is made from the shoot for auspicious occasions like marriages.
The peeled layers are used by farmers as a binding rope for packaging agricultural produce, such as flowers, betel leaves, etc. The dried stem peels are slit into fine threads and are used for weaving mats, stringing garlands and packaging wrapper. Juice from the stem and the peel have also been used traditionally as a first aid for burns and minor abrasions.

See also

  • Banana
    Banana
    Banana is the common name for herbaceous plants of the genus Musa and for the fruit they produce. Bananas come in a variety of sizes and colors when ripe, including yellow, purple, and red....

  • Banana Cultivar Groups
    Banana cultivar groups
    Almost all modern edible banana and plantain cultivars are hybrids and polyploids of the wild, seeded bananas Musa acuminata and Musa balbisiana. They are almost always seedless and hence sterile, so they are propagated vegetatively...

  • Rhino Horn Banana
    Rhino Horn Banana
    Rhino Horn bananas, also called Rhino Horn plantains or African Rhino Horn, are hybrid banana cultivars from Africa. It produces strongly curved and elongated edible bananas which can grow to a length of two feet, making them have the longest fruits among banana cultivars.-Taxonomy:The Rhino Horn...

  • Matoke
    Matoke
    Matoke, also known as Matooke or Ibitoke , is a meal consisting of steamed green banana and is one of the national dishes of Uganda....

  • Musa balbisiana
    Musa balbisiana
    Musa balbisiana is a species of wild banana native to South Asia. It is one of the ancestors of modern cultivated bananas along with Musa acuminata. It grows lush leaves in clumps and grows with a more upright habit than most cultivated bananas. Flowers grow in inflorescences coloured red to...

  • Saba Banana
    Saba banana
    Saba banana, also known as Cardaba banana, is a triploid hybrid banana cultivar originating from the Philippines. It is primarily a cooking banana though it can also be eaten raw. It is one of the most important banana varieties in Philippine cuisine....


External links

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