Sycamore, fruitand characteristics of the plant. Recipes with plantain, fried plantain and information on properties.
The fruit visually looks a lot like onegiant bananabut the flavor of the plane treeand its methods of use are completely different from those of thebanana.
The fruit of the plane tree, due to its appearance, is also known asgiant banana. Theplane tree, in fact, it has the appearance of an enlarged banana and, from a nutritional point of view, there are not many differences betweenbananas and plantains.
Talking aboutproperty, aplane treeof medium size, it provides about 220 calories and is an excellent source of potassium and dietary fiber.
Theplane treeit is an important staple food for Latin America and Central America, the Caribbean islands and West Africa. In Africa, iplane treesand thebananascover a large portion of the carbohydrate needs of over 70 million people.
Platano, the plant
The plane treeand the fruit of the speciesHeavenly muse, hybridization between Musa acuminata and Musa balbisiana. Scientifically there are no differences betweenplane treesisbananasbut according to the Simmonds and Shepherds (1955) naming system, which is based on genomic derivation, theplane treeas well as all bananas intended for cooking, it belongs to the AAB Group.
All plants of the genusMusethey are indigenous to the tropical regions of Southeast Asia and Oceania. Plantations ofHeavenly musecone widespread in the Malay region that covers the geographical area of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Brunei. Although many think that thebananasoriginate from Africa, this territory is considered only a secondary center for the Musa cultivars.
To bear fruit, theplane tree plantit needs a tropical climate. Plants ofplane treeI am very sensitive to strong winds and many plantations are completely torn away by hurricanes and tornadoes.
That offried plantainis the most popular recipe. Ripe plantains can be cut into more or less thin slices (according to your tastes) and fried in boiling oil. It is important to wait until the oil is extremely hot before immersing the slice of plantain in the pan. To prepare fried plantains, it would be best to use ripe yellow-skinned fruits.
With cooking, the sugars naturally present in theplane tree, they will tend to caramelize. With a skimmer, remove the plantain from the pot when it has reached a golden-brown color. In the photo above, plantain chips. To obtain the plantain chips you have to fry, in boiling oil, 2 mm thick slices.
Theplane treeit is not consumed only fried. In Latin America this food is just as common as potatoes are common in Italy, so it can be consumed in a large number of ways.
They can be boiled, cooked in the oven or in the microwave. In order not to give up the goodness of the caramelized plantain, it is possible to cook it on a charcoal grill as it is proposed by many street vendors in the localities where the plant is indigenous. Here in Italy we can be content to cook it on a non-stick pan or a cast iron grill. When thefruitis unripe it can be steamed, boiled or fried even if the caramelization will only partially take place.
Traditional recipes from the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico include theKerala, a typical breakfast based onplane treessteamed. In Ghana, theplane treeboiled meat is mixed with peanut paste, pepper, onion and palm oil and should be eaten accompanied by an avocado (the dish is calledEto and is sometimes served with pork).
In Guatemala, theplane treeripe is used for the recipe ofRellenitos de Platano, a dessert based on boiled, mashed plantains (just like we do with potato croquettes) and then stuffed with black beans. The dessert is sweetened and then baked or fried.
THEplane treesthey are also dried and then ground for transformation into flour. Plantain flour is rich in protein, fiber and carbohydrates. Mixed with water or milk, it is used to feed small children in the southern Indian regions.
In Peru, therecipetraditional ofChapo, sees the use of boiled plantains, pureed and mixed with water and sugar to obtain an energy drink.
Thererecipetraditional ofPiñon, it is similar to our lasagna except that the durum wheat pasta is replaced by sections ofplane treenot very ripe. In the photo above, thePiñon of Puerto Rico.
If you like exotic flavors, read the traditional Arepas recipe on the pageHow to make the original arepas.