Saturday, April 24, 2010

INGREDIENTS - Plantain (Banana-da-Terra)

The "vegetable-banana" known in English as a plantain is a common ingredient in Brazilian cooking, and it's called "banana-da-terra" (banana of the earth) in Portuguese. Plantains differ from the more common fruit- or dessert-bananas in that they have more starch and less sugar and must be cooked before being consumed. Unlike fruit-bananas, plantains are usually eaten in a relatively unripe state, and it's for this reason they must be cooked to be eatable.

The plantain (Musa paradisiaca), like all bananas is native to the tropical regions of Southeast Asia and Oceania, and was brought to Brazil by Portuguese explorers and clerics. It, along with its sweeter cousins, has been wholeheartedly adapted to Brazilian soil, and adopted by the Brazilian palate.

See the following post for a delicious recipe for fish with plantain that it especially popular here in Fortaleza. It's a standout.

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