I keep going back and forth on whether or not this is actually a “specialty” fruit. I feel like I see quite a few recipes that call for plantains from time to time but they never really seem essential to the whole thing. I see people buying plantains more often than some of the other stuff I’ve tried and they legitimately overall just look and smell like a huge banana. I think back to my childhood though and realized a plantain has never crossed the threshold of my childhood home so it is special enough for this blog. Oh, and my birthday.
You can’t peel these like a normal banana though, you have to chop off the ends and make a slice in the peel to get it started. The sites said they should come off easily but mine were a little tough to get off the fruit. I was worried I had bought a bad batch. I almost broke one in half but I think that was just a matter of me trying to hurry and get them broken down.
The kicker with this method is slicing them lengthwise. I didn’t want the things to crumble so I had to carefully cut them like I was slicing bread for a sandwich. I feel like they came out pretty even and easily.
I learned most of the stuff from this site on preparing them and the recipes to keep it basic and preserve some plantain flavor. I will admit that I tried a bit raw when cutting them up. I was really hesitant to try it because you don’t really hear about people just flat out eating them raw like that but you know what it tasted like?
The world’s most toned down banana.
That was a bit disappointing but I am glad it wasn’t as bitter as I imagined it to be. I feel like it would have been way worse to expect something banana-esque only to get something that tastes horrible.
Anyway, baked plantains would probably be best with a very fancy banana split or paired with some kind of cold sweet but for the sake of try52 culinary research we are eating them as is. When they were baking they made my house smell like Christmas which was an odd feeling considering I actually just turned on the air conditioning because it is seventy some degrees outside!
Yum. That’s what I am going to tell you about baked plantains. The spices were salt, nutmeg, brown sugar and cinnamon and they do take on that flavor very easily but there is still a flavor that is distinctly not really banana but not really one of the spices. I had found the plantain. It was more of a texture experience at this point because you know how mushy bananas get when you eat them raw or cooked but these stood the test of the oven and were sturdy with a texture almost like a root vegetable. Except that I enjoyed eating them.
I almost feel like I need a side by side taste comparison of baked plantains to baked bananas but I feel like the bananas would be just a jelly on the bottom of a pan. I vote you get out there and switch a banana for a plantain and see what you think.