I created a monster. I turned Erik into a tostones monster. My first experience with plantains was tostones. I saw Alton Brown make them on Good Eats and was intrigued, so I made them. Erik’s first experience with plantains was them just cooked and in a sauce as a side dish at a Colombian restaurant. He couldn’t understand how I liked plantains so much (since not-fried plantains, while not bad, are definitely not as good as their fried brethren). So I told him about how amazing fried plantains are and that I would make them for him sometime so he could see for himself. I think he may still have been a bit skeptical. But boy did his mind change after he had them. Now we cannot go to a grocery store without Erik sneaking some plantains into our cart to make with dinner. As I said, I’ve created a monster.
I’ve talked about plantains before in a review of plantain chips. As I mentioned in that post, fried plantains are pretty much the best French fry you’ll ever have. Because they’re so starchy, when you smush them and fry them they almost become self-battering. It can be hard to believe that they haven’t been dipped in something other than water. They’re crunchy, starchy, and salty in all the best ways. You’re definitely going to want to give these a try.
Plantains are an interesting food. They look like big, angular bananas, and that’s because they pretty much are. The two are very closely related. The main difference is that plantains are large and starchy, and therefore best eaten after being cooked, while bananas are smaller and sugary, and often eaten raw. Flavor-wise plantains are actually more similar to potatoes than bananas. In fact fried plantains (tostones) are pretty much just the best French fry you’ll ever have. The first time you eat plantains it can be hard to get over the idea that it’s’ going to taste like a banana. But once you do you’ll want to eat all the plantains.