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This article is about the fruit. For the small herb, see Plantago.
Plantains being sold.
Hybrid parentage Musa acuminata × Musa balbisiana
Cultivar group AAB Group (Plantain group)
AAB Group (Maoli-Popoulo subgroup)
AAA-EA subgroup (Mutika/Lujugira)
Origin Southeast Asia, South Asia
Plantain (pronounced /?plænt?n/; also UK: /?pl??nt?n/ or US: /plæn?te?n/) is the common name for herbaceous plants of the genus Musa. The fruit they produce is generally used for cooking, in contrast to the soft, sweet banana (which is sometimes referred to as the dessert banana). There is no formal botanical distinction between bananas and plantains, and the use of either term is based purely on how the fruits are consumed.
North America was first introduced to the fruit as "banana plantain", and in the United States and Europe "banana" generally refers to that variety. The word "banana" is sometimes used to describe other plantain cultivars, and names may reflect local uses or characteristics of cultivars: cooking plantain, banana plantain, beer banana, bocadillo plantain, etc.
Plantains are classified formally 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, including the Malay Archipelago (modern Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei and the Philippines) and Northern Australia.
Plantains are a major food staple in equatorial Africa and Andean regions. Their attractiveness as food is that they fruit all year round, making them more reliable all-season staple food, particularly in communities living in mountains or forests with inadequate food storage, preservation and transportation technologies.
4 Production trends
5 As food
5.3 Steamed, boiled, grilled, baked, or fried
5.6 Dried flour
5.9 Plátanos maduros
5.10 Banana cue, Turrón and Arroz a la Cubana
5.11 Ash plantains
5.13 Tostones, Patacones and Tachinos
5.14 Fufu de platano
5.20 Pastelon de amarillos
5.25 Ethakka appam
6 Use of parts other than the fruit
6.1 Plantain flowers
6.2 Plantain leaves
6.3 Plantain shoot
7 Comparison to other staple foods
8 See also
10 External links
From left to right: plantain, red banana, apple banana, and cavendish banana.
Saba bananas (Musa acuminata × balbisiana (ABB) cv. 'Saba')
Musa acuminata × Musa balbisiana flowerPlantain tends 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 starchy) 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 in the tropical regions of the world, the tenth most important staple that feeds the world. Plantains are treated in much the same way as potatoes and with a similar neutral flavour and texture when the unripe fruit is cooked by steaming, boiling or frying.
Plantains fruit all year round, which makes the crop more reliable all-season staple food, particularly in developing countries with inadequate food storage, preservation and transportation technologies. In Africa, plantains and bananas provide more than 25 percent of the carbohydrate requirements for over 70 million people.
Plantains, like banana, are believed to have originated in southeast Asia, having been cultivated in south India by 500 BC. From here, ancient trade routes distributed it to Africa through Madagascar. By 1000 AD, plantains had spread eastward to Japan and Samoa. It arrived in the Caribbean and Latin America by 1500 AD. Since then, it has spread widely throughout the tropics.
Main article: Banana#Taxonomy
Despite using 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 bananas. They are mostly sterile triploid hybrids between the species Musa acuminata (A genome) and Musa balbisiana (B genome). Most modern plantains belong to the AAB Group, commonly known as the 'Plantain Group', and the ABB Group. Other economically important plantain groups include the East African Highland bananas (Mutika/Lujugira subgroup) of the AAA Group and the Pacific plantains (including the Popoulo, Maoli, and Iholena subgroups) of the AAB Group.
Scientific names that were once applied to plantains but are now invalid (synonyms) include:
Musa paradisiaca L.
Musa × paradisiaca L. cultigroup Plantain
 Production trends
A plantain (kochbanane) plant.FAO reports that Uganda was the top producer of plantain in 2009 with 9.5 million metric tonnes harvest. The next four major producers of plantain, in decreasing harvest were Ghana, Colombia, Rwanda and Nigeria.
FAO reports, that for 2009, the other major plantain producing regions in the world, by production harvest quantities, were: Cameroon, Peru, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Myanmar, United Republic of Tanzania, Ecuador, Dominican Republic, Sri Lanka, Venezuela, Guinea, Bolivia, Cuba, Malawi.
The Great Lakes region covering parts of Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Kenya and Congo is the largest producer and consumer of plantains in Africa. The per capita consumption of plantain in this region of the world is 250 kilogram per year, the highest in the world.
Minor producers of plantain include Panama, Myanmar, Dominican Republic, Brazil, Costa Rica, Canary Islands, Honduras, United States, Guadeloupe, Japan, Thailand, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, the Pacific Islands and northern Australia. Farmers grow plantains as far north as Northern California and as far south as KwaZulu-Natal.
Some countries that were minor producers of plantains in 2009, were major producers of bananas. For example, as the largest producer of banana, India harvested over 24.5 million metric tonnes of bananas in 2009. Some sources of world production data do not differentiate production statistics between plantain and bananas.
In 2010, the world average annual yield for plantain crop was 6.77 tonnes per hectare. The most productive farms of plantain breeds were in El Salvador, where the nationwide average annual yield was 31.13 tonnes per hectare.
 As food
Plantains, raw Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 510 kJ (120 kcal)
Carbohydrates 31.9 g
- Sugars 15 g
- Dietary fiber 2.3 g
Fat 0.37 g
Protein 1.3 g
Vitamin A equiv. 56 ?g (7%)
Thiamine (vit. B1) 0.052 mg (5%)
Riboflavin (vit. B2) 0.054 mg (5%)
Niacin (vit. B3) 0.686 mg (5%)
Vitamin B6 0.3 mg (23%)
Folate (vit. B9) 22 ?g (6%)
Vitamin C 18.4 mg (22%)
Vitamin K 0.7 ?g (1%)
Calcium 3 mg (0%)
Iron 0.6 mg (5%)
Magnesium 37 mg (10%)
Phosphorus 34 mg (5%)
Potassium 499 mg (11%)
Zinc 0.14 mg (1%)
Percentages are relative to US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database
Various parts of the plantain plant have been consumed as human food since prehistory.
Plantain is a carbohydrate source. Its utilizable protein content as percentage of calorie ingestion is although higher than sago and cassava, it is much lower than other staples such as yam, maize, rice, potato and wheat. On per gram consumed basis, plantain's essential amino acid concentrations are very low, even lower than cassava. The low fat content of plantain, coupled with its high starch content, makes it a possible food for geriatric patients. It may also be a possible food alternative for people suffering from gastric ulcer, coeliac disease and in the relief of colitis.
Plantain contains very little beta-carotene. The vitamin C content of plantain is very similar to those of sweet potato, cassava and potato, but the concentration may vary with the crop, maturity at harvest, soil, and farming conditions.
Plantain and banana allergy are reported in some human beings. Patients with allergy to plantains and banana report adverse reactions immediately after consumption, that is, up to one hour after ingestion. Symptoms are characteristics of food allergy: from mild reactions, such as itching and mild swelling of the lips, tongue, palate and throat, followed by a rapid resolution of symptoms, to itching rush and hives in the skin or mucous swelling, stomach complains, hayfever, constriction of the throat and asthma, or anaphylactic shock – a generalized serious reaction with a large drop in blood pressure.
The allergy may take two forms:
Others develop allergy because of the similarity between the allergens in plantain/banana and natural rubber latex, a condition known as the latex-fruit syndrome.
Although plantain and banana allergy is not among the top five food allergies, it cannot be considered as a rare allergy, neither in children nor in adults. Generally, the frequency is higher among specific groups of patients, as for example those allergic to latex, to pollens, or to plant-derived foods.
As with all food allergies, the advice of medical professionals and experts should be sought.
 Steamed, boiled, grilled, baked, or fried
Plantains served over grilled pacu.In countries such as Trinidad and Tobago, Honduras and Jamaica, the plantain is either simply fried, boiled or added to a soup. In Kerala, ripe plantain is steamed and is a popular breakfast dish. In Ghana, 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, 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, a Ghanaian snack, is spiced ripe plantain deep fried in palm oil or vegetable oil.
In the southern United States, particularly in Texas, Louisiana and Florida, plantains are most often grilled. In Nigeria, plantain is eaten boiled, fried or roasted; roasted plantain, called boli is usually eaten with palm oil or groundnut. In Guatemala, 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".
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. 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; the young shoots of several species are cooked and eaten.
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 starchy, 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, 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 1.15%, carbohydrates 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.
Plantain fruit can be brewed into an alcoholic drink. In Peru, plantains are boiled and blended with water and sugar to make chapo juice.
Main article: Banana chips
Plantain 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 American and South American countries, platanutres in Puerto Rico, mariquitas or Chicharitas in Cuba and Chifles in Ecuador and Peru. In Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Puerto Rico and Venezuela, tostones refers to thicker twice-fried patties (see below).
In Haiti, 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 and Ghana they are called "plantain chips". In Ecuador and Peru, they are called chifles.
Chips fried in coconut oil and sprinkled with salt, called upperi or kaya varuthathu are a popular snack in the southwestern Indian state of Kerala. 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, they are called tajadas. If the chips are made from sweeter fruit, they are called banana chips. They can also be sliced vertically to create a variation known as plantain strips.
Plantain chips are also a popular treat in Jamaica, Ghana, Nigeria (where it is called ipekere by the Yorubas), and other countries such as Guatemala, El Salvador, Haiti, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Colombia, Cuba, Honduras, Ecuador, Guyana, India, the United States and Peru. They are also popular in other Caribbean communities.
In the southern Indian states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, 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.
In the western/central Indian language Marathi, the plantain is called rajeli kela (?????? ???) (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, Ecuador, Colombia, Honduras (where they are usually eaten with the native sour cream) and Venezuela, 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, El Salvador, Guatemala, Ecuador, Honduras, Panama, Peru, Colombia, Cuba, Suriname, Puerto Rico (where they are called amarillos), Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago and most of the English-speaking Caribbean (although just called plantain), Nicaragua and in Venezuela. In Costa Rica, they are sprinkled with sugar. In western Nigeria, fried, sliced plantains are known as dodo, and in Cameroon, 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
Arroz a la CubanaIn the Philippines, Banana cue 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, known as Ginanggang, is different in that it is actually grilled over charcoal.
Philippine plantains (called Saba or Cardaba Bananas) are much smaller than the Latin American 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 snack, Turrón, 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 American style large plantains (grown in the Southern Philippines) are now increasingly available in local Filipino markets.
 Ash plantains
Sri Lanka's ash plantains called alu kesel (??? ??????) 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).
In Honduras, Venezuela and Central Colombia, fried ripened plantain slices are known as tajadas. They are customary in most typical meals, such as the Venezuelan pabellón criollo. 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 and fritos maduros in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic respectively.
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, 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, tajadas are fried unripened plantain slices, and are traditionally served in a fritanga 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 and North America.
 Tostones, Patacones and Tachinos
Main article: Tostones
Tostones being fried for the second time.Tostones (also known as patacones in Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Panama, Peru and Venezuela) 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, Cuba, Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic, 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, much of Colombia and the Peruvian Amazon, 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 made by boiling the plantains in water and mashing with a fork. The fufu is then mixed with chicken stock and sofrito, 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 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 or made with plantains combined with cassava.
In Venezuela, 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 is the Spanish term used in Peru, Colombia and Ecuador for fried green plantains sliced (1 or 2 mm thick); it is also used to describe plantain chips which are sliced thinner.
Mofongo - a Puerto Rican dish made from fried green plantains.Main article: Mofongo
Originating from Dominican Republic and popular in the Puerto Rico, and essentially akin to the Cuban fufu, mofongo is made by mashing tostones 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.
Main article: Alcapurria
Alcapurria is a type of savory Puerto Rican fritter. Although usually consisting mainly of yautía, they also typically contain plantains, as well as the possible additions of green bananas and/or other tropical tubers found on the island. The plantains and tubers are mashed into a masa (dough) that is used to encase a filling of ground meat (picadillo), which are then deep-fried.
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 adapted from the Dominican cuisine where it is called pastelon de platanos maduros; similar to lasagne, it uses sweet plantains to replace the pasta. The dish in English is known as Puerto Rican lasagne or Latin lasagne.
Main article: Mangú (dish)
A traditional mangú from the Dominican Republic 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.
A road side stall in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso selling Dodo.Plantain is popular in West Africa, especially Cameroon, Bénin and Nigeria; 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 and fried in boiling point palm oil. 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 is the term used for roasted plantain in Nigeria. The plantain is usually grilled and served with roasted fish, ground peanuts and a hot palm oil sauce. It is very popular as a lunch snack in southern and western Nigeria, for example in Rivers and Lagos states. It is popular among the working class as a quick midday meal.
Matooke or Matoke is a plantain dish common in Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and eastern Congo. The plantains are peeled, wrapped in the plant's leaves and set in a cooking pot (sufuria) 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
Pazham pori - a plantain dish from south India.Ethakka appam, pazham (banana) boli or pazham pori are terms used for fried plantain in Kerala. 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 (Indonesian for fried bananas), which is a dessert common to Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore.
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.
 Use of parts other than the fruit
 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, the plantain inflorescence (particularly those from Saba Bananas), locally known as Puso ng Saging (Banana hearts) are eaten. In Vietnam, the young male flower, at the end of the bunch, is used in salads. In the cuisine of Laos, the plantain flower is typically eaten raw in vermicelli soups. A type of poriyal/ peretal (dry curry) is made from plantain flowers in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. Thoran is made in Kerala with the end of the bunch (called "koompu" in Malayalam) and is considered to be highly nutritious. In Karnataka, the inflorescence is used to make sweet and sour gojju (a gravy dish).
 Plantain leaves
Plantain leaves are used as plates in several tropical regions of the world. Here is lunch served in Karnataka, a southern state of India.Main article: Banana leaf
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 makes them more flexible, and improves storage properties, flavor and aroma. In Venezuela, they are fairly widely available in grocery stores or open air markets and are used as wrappers in hallacas. In Nicaragua, they wrap nacatamales, as well as vigoron, vaho and other dishes. In Guatemala, Peru, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama, and Colombia, plantain leaves are usually used to wrap tamales before and while cooking, and they can be used to wrap any kind of seasoned meat while cooking to keep the flavor in. Puerto Rican pasteles 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, a Ghanaian dish eaten with ground pepper, onions, tomatoes and fish.
Traditionally, plantain leaves are used like plates while serving South Indian thali 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 rituals. They add a subtle, but essential, aroma to the dish. In the Indian state of Kerala, a food preparation called ada is made in plantain leaves. Plantain leaves are also used in making karimeen pollichathu in Kerala. In the South Indian states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh 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 as well.
 Plantain shoot
After harvesting the fruit, the plantain plant can be cut and the layers peeled (like an onion) to get a cylinder-shaped soft shoot. In the South Indian states of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, plantain shoot is chopped into fine pieces and made as a salad or a dry curry (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 powder, to make an excellent dish. This dish is called posola in Assamese and a distinct part of Assamese cuisine. In Kerala and Andhra Pradesh, a thoran 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.
 Comparison to other staple foods
The following table shows the nutrient content of plantain and major staple foods in a raw harvested form. Raw forms, however, aren't edible and can not be digested. These must be sprouted, or prepared and cooked for human consumption. In sprouted or cooked form, the relative nutritional and anti-nutritional contents of each of these staples is remarkably different from that of raw form of these staples reported in the table below.
Nutrient content of major staple foods STAPLE: Maize / Corn[A] Rice[B] Wheat[C] Potato[D] Cassava[E] Soybean[F] Sweet potato[G] Sorghum[H] Yam[Y] Plantain[Z]
Component (per 100g portion) Amount Amount Amount Amount Amount Amount Amount Amount Amount Amount
Water (g) 76 12 11 79 60 68 77 9 70 65
Energy (kJ) 360 1528 1419 322 670 615 360 1419 494 511
Protein (g) 3.2 7.1 13.7 2.0 1.4 13.0 1.6 11.3 1.5 1.3
Fat (g) 1.18 0.66 2.47 0.09 0.28 6.8 0.05 3.3 0.17 0.37
Carbohydrates (g) 19 80 71 17 38 11 20 75 28 32
Fiber (g) 2.7 1.3 0 2.2 1.8 4.2 3 6.3 4.1 2.3
Sugar (g) 3.22 0.12 0 0.78 1.7 0 4.18 0 0.5 15
Calcium (mg) 2 28 34 12 16 197 30 28 17 3
Iron (mg) 0.52 4.31 3.52 0.78 0.27 3.55 0.61 4.4 0.54 0.6
Magnesium (mg) 37 25 144 23 21 65 25 0 21 37
Phosphorus (mg) 89 115 508 57 27 194 47 287 55 34
Potassium (mg) 270 115 431 421 271 620 337 350 816 499
Sodium (mg) 15 5 2 6 14 15 55 6 9 4
Zinc (mg) 0.45 1.09 4.16 0.29 0.34 0.99 0.3 0 0.24 0.14
Copper (mg) 0.05 0.22 0.55 0.11 0.10 0.13 0.15 - 0.18 0.08
Manganese (mg) 0.16 1.09 3.01 0.15 0.38 0.55 0.26 - 0.40 -
Selenium (mcg) 0.6 15.1 89.4 0.3 0.7 1.5 0.6 0 0.7 1.5
Vitamin C (mg) 6.8 0 0 19.7 20.6 29 2.4 0 17.1 18.4
Thiamin (mg) 0.20 0.58 0.42 0.08 0.09 0.44 0.08 0.24 0.11 0.05
Riboflavin (mg) 0.06 0.05 0.12 0.03 0.05 0.18 0.06 0.14 0.03 0.05
Niacin (mg) 1.70 4.19 6.74 1.05 0.85 1.65 0.56 2.93 0.55 0.69
Pantothenic acid (mg) 0.76 1.01 0.94 0.30 0.11 0.15 0.80 - 0.31 0.26
Vitamin B6 (mg) 0.06 0.16 0.42 0.30 0.09 0.07 0.21 - 0.29 0.30
Folate Total (mcg) 46 231 43 16 27 165 11 0 23 22
Vitamin A (IU) 208 0 0 2 13 180 14187 0 138 1127
Vitamin E, alpha-tocopherol (mg) 0.07 0.11 0 0.01 0.19 0 0.26 0 0.39 0.14
Vitamin K (mcg) 0.3 0.1 0 1.9 1.9 0 1.8 0 2.6 0.7
Beta-carotene (mcg) 52 0 0 1 8 0 8509 0 83 457
Lutein+zeazanthin (mcg) 764 0 0 8 0 0 0 0 0 30
Saturated fatty acids (g) 0.18 0.18 0.45 0.03 0.07 0.79 0.02 0.46 0.04 0.14
Monounsaturated fatty acids (g) 0.35 0.21 0.34 0.00 0.08 1.28 0.00 0.99 0.01 0.03
Polyunsaturated fatty acids (g) 0.56 0.18 0.98 0.04 0.05 3.20 0.01 1.37 0.08 0.07
A corn, sweet, yellow, raw B rice, white, long-grain, regular, raw
C wheat, durum D potato, flesh and skin, raw
E cassava, raw F soybeans, green, raw
G sweetpotato, raw, unprepared H sorghum, raw
Y yam, raw Z plantains, raw
 See also
Banana Cultivar Groups
Rhino Horn Banana
^ a b Wells, John (2000). Longman Pronunciation Dictionary. ISBN 0582364671.
^ "Merriam-Webster Dictionary". http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/plantain.
^ "Plantain". Oxford Dictionaries Online. Oxford University Press. April 2010. http://oxforddictionaries.com/view/entry/m_en_gb0638170?rskey=l7k7CB&result=2. Retrieved 17 September 2010.
^ John Wells's phonetic blog, 2010 Sept. 17
^ "Musa species (banana and plantain)" (PDF). http://agroforestry.net/tti/Musa-banana-plantain.pdf.
^ "Plantains". http://www.chiquitabananas.com/Banana-Information/type-plantains-bananas.aspx. Retrieved August 25, 2009.
^ a b UNCST (July 2007). "THE BIOLOGY OF BANANAS AND PLANTAINS". Uganda National Council for Science and Technology in collaboration with PBS - a US Agency for International Development (USAID) . http://www.biovisioneastafrica.com/publications/BIOLOGY%20OF%20BANANAS%20AND%20PLANTAINS-BZ%20Jul07.pdf.
^ a b c Oke et al. (1998). Roots, tubers, plantains and bananas in human nutrition. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). ISBN 92-5-102862-1. http://www.fao.org/docrep/T0207E/T0207E00.HTM.
^ a b "Musa paradisiaca". http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/. http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~drc/mparadisiaca.htm
^ Randy C. Ploetz, Angela Kay Kepler, Jeff Daniells, & Scot C. Nelson (2007). "Banana and plantain — an overview with emphasis on the Pacific island cultivars". Species Profiles for Pacific Island Agroforestry (Traditional Tree Initiative). http://www.agroforestry.net/tti/Banana-plantain-overview.pdf. Retrieved June 5, 2011.
^ "Agricultural Production, Worldwide, 2009". FAOSTAT, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. 2010. http://faostat.fao.org/site/339/default.aspx.
^ "Crop Production, Worldwide, 2010 data". FAOSTAT, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. 2011. http://faostat.fao.org/site/567/DesktopDefault.aspx?PageID=567#ancor.
^ "Banana and Plantain Allergies". Informall Database - funded by European Union. 2010. http://foodallergens.ifr.ac.uk/food.lasso?selected_food=5#summary.
^ "Aloco recipe". Aloco. congocookbook.com. Archived from the original on 2006-07-18. http://web.archive.org/web/20060718072533/http://www.congocookbook.com/c0205.html. Retrieved 2006-08-12.
^ "Nutrient data laboratory". United States Department of Agriculture. http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/Data/SR18/sr18.html.
Oke, O.L.; and J. Redhead, Dr M.A. Hussain (1998). Roots, tubers, plantains and bananas in human nutrition. Rome, Italy: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Informartion Network on Post-Harvest Operations (INPhO). pp. 198. FAO code: 86, AGRIS: SO1, ISBN 92-5-102862-1. http://www.fao.org/docrep/T0207E/T0207E00.HTM.
 External links
Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Plantain
Plantain research at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)
Botanical.com: Plantain Fruit
Banana and plantain section of Bioversity International
[hide]v · d · e Bananas and plantains
Cultivars Blue Java · Cavendish · Goldfinger · Grand Nain · Gros Michel · Lady Finger · Lacatan · Latundan · Pisang Awak · Plantain · Red · Rhino Horn · Saba · Señorita
Cultivar groups AA group · AAA group (Cavendish group) · AAA-EA subgroup (East African Highland bananas) · AAAA group · AAAB group · AAA group (Plantain group) · AABB group · AB group · ABB group · ABBB group · BB Group · BBB Group
Culinary usage Banana beer · Banana bread · Banana chips · Banana cue · Bananas Foster · Banana fritter · Banana ketchup · Banana powder · Banana pudding · Banana sauce · Banana split · Banana wine · Banania · Bánh chu?i · Frozen banana · Ginanggang · Matoke · Maruya · Pisang goreng · Tonto · Turrón
Related topics Banana paper · Bananadine · Banana and plantain diseases
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I remember banging some breaded plaintain my mouth once thinking it was a croquette potato. I was so, so close to being sick.
plantains cut into small 'chips' and pan fried for 10 minutes are glorious.
The shock probably didn't do me any favours though, all told.
fried plantains are amazing, especially Cuban style. add sour cream or crème fraiche or put them on ice cream and GOOD FUCKING GOD
add butter when frying too and cinnamon