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Plantains are magical! Here's why...

You're in for a treat with these interesting plantain facts & a delicious recipe to match!

AH... good ol' plantain. Beautiful when boiled, sensational when shallow fried and gorgeous when grilled but what makes this starchy fruit so special?

(Image: Fried plantains with lemon zest / Black CHEFS Collective ©)

Let's start off with the versatility of plantains! Not only are they great as a savoury element of a meal (both as main as a side), they are also delicious when used in desserts and as snacks too!

Plantains are delicious AND versatile! They go well with egg, various stews and an array of bean dishes too – Nathan, London

The beautiful golden hue of plantains when cooked make them a stunning on their own and as an addition to meals but their beauty doesn't stop there! They're just as gorgeous nutritionally! One plantain has 1.5g of protein, 3.5g of fibre and 12.5 mg of Vitamin C.

Plantains can also be prepared in a variety of ways. Whilst a few choose to consume them raw, plantains are mostly consumed cooked. Popular methods of cooking plantains include frying, grilling, boiling and more recently, air frying!

The texture of fried plantains can be likened to other starchy foods such as sweet potatoes and butternut squash and the flavour can be likened to those too but with the addition of a subtle banana taste. Some sweet dishes such as banana bread call for overripe bananas and similarly sweet dishes using plantain often suggest to use overripe plantains (when the peel has darkened to almost black).

So which is better? Sweet or Savoury plantains? Both are equally delicious! Boiling plantain is the method to use when attempting to highlight the more sweeter notes of plantain. A deliciously easy way to enjoy boiled plantains is to serve with vanilla ice-cream and a sprinkle of nutmeg, cinnamon and sugar. Boiled plantains can also be eaten savoury so the possibilities are endless!

When eaten savoury, plantains are often fried and popularly paired with proteins such as eggs, beans and meats. Ghanaian kelewele is an example of a savoury plantain dish and is plantain seasoned with a blend of spices (and sometimes onions) then fried to golden perfection and garnished with peanuts.

We tried kelewele whilst visiting the incredible food vendors of Accra, Ghana and it was truly a delight! We have officially launched our Street Food Tours Video Series and our first country is Ghana, with our 2nd episode highlighting Kelewele! To see the episode click the video below but be warned, you may suddenly crave plantains after watching!!

CREDITS ____________

Article: Total Tola | Fried plantain with lemon zest food styling: Cilodoxia | Fried plantain with lemon zest photography: Black CHEFS Collective | Field journalism: Total Tola | Research: Nathan B

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