Plantains come in different ripeness at the grocery store. So which ones do you want to buy? Well, that depends on the taste you are wanting. As the plantain ripens, it becomes sweeter. Think of how a banana ripens. The plantain is usually green when it is first harvested. Then as it ripens, it moves from green to yellow to black. As it ripens, the plantain becomes softer. The softer it gets the sweeter it gets.
When choosing a plantain, decide which stage of ripeness you want. Using the list below, you can determine which to buy.
- Green- when fried tastes similar to potato – hashbrown, french fries
- Yellow – when fried tastes similar to banana when mixed with fruit and yogurt – think banana pudding
- Black – when fried tastes similar to the yellow just a good bit sweeter like a fruit cobbler
All shades of plantains taste lovely with a bit of freshly ground Pink Himalayan Salt.
Using a tostonera is the most convenient way to mash fried plantains, although, you may use a glass bottom or can in a pinch. The tostonera prevents smushing it too much!
To peel a plantain, cut the ends off first. Then with the point of a small paring knife, slice the skin along a ridge or two lengthwise. You do not want to cut too deeply, just through the peel. Then, along the cut line, use your fingers to separate the peel from the inside of the plantain. It will resemble a peeled banana at this point.