Plantains (Plátanos in Spanish) are like versatile big bananas. It is still a fruit, but you normally eat it cooked, and it is used in everyday meals as a side dish or as part of the main dish. It’s eaten pretty much every day in Colombian cuisine, and believe me, you will be happy about it, and you will smile every time you see it on the menu in its many forms.
Patacones for the soul
Plantains are used in all their stages of maturation. When they are green, they are used mainly to make patacones or tostones. The banana is cut into slices or crushed and made into larger slices that are then fried and salted. These are crunchy pieces of heaven!
You can eat them alone, just with salt, as an entréeor side dish, or normally, you can eat them with “hogao” (Sauces from Colombia you have to try), a tomato and onion sauce that you put on top. Also, you can find big patacones with meat (Carne desmechada: you have to try it) and cheese. That can easily become your favorite dinner.
You can also find green plantain sliced really thin and fried like potato chips. You can buy this on the street as the perfect snack while you wander the streets of Bogotá.
Other treats with plantain
Plantain is also used to make other dishes like “marranitas,” a fried green plantain ball stuffed with crunchy and crushed pork rillettes. Sounds amazing, right? There’s more! The “aborrajados,” made with “plátano maduro,” are slices of plantain, fried and stuffed with fresh cheese and then covered with a mixture of flour, milk, and eggs, and finally sugar and salt. These two are normally eaten as snacks and are very common in Valle del Cauca.
In the region of Nariño, you can find “empanadas de verde,” a green plantain fried dough stuffed with cheese. These are traditionally from the south of Colombia and Ecuador.
With plantains, life is tastier
As you try all the different shapes and colors, you will discover that everything else tastes better when it’s accompanied by plantain. And you will find yourself looking at the menu for any sign of this tropical fruit that can be a snack, an entrée, or a dessert. I invite you to let yourself be seduced by this food!
You can also buy the fruit to try to make it yourself while you are here! Plantains are easy to find in any supermarket (Bogotá supermarkets) or even in neighborhood little shops, or, if you want to go to a popular market you should try Paloquemado. One pound costs approximately 2,500 to 3,000 Colombian pesos ($USD 0,90 – 1).
Have you tried any dishes with plantains? Do you already know how good it is? Do you know any other ways to eat this fruit? Share them with us! And discover on our website all the other dishes and typical Colombian food that will awaken your senses and make your trip, as well as incredible, a gastronomic experience.
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