Plantains: Why Are You Cooking Them?

Once while transporting some plantains a middle-aged lady that I often bought fruit from thought it was crazy that I was going to eat them raw. So I asked her “You’ve lived here your entire life and have been around these things for many years yet you’ve never thought to try and eat one of them ripe and raw? Nope, not once! I am writing this for people like her and people who only just heard about plantains in order to say: Yes you can eat plantains raw and they’re quite good so ignore those who say things like a plantain needs to be “cooked before serving as it is unsuitable raw”… not surprisingly this was said by a company that sells processed plantain chips, go figure.

While writing this post I remembered an email I sent to the Chiquita Banana Company regarding the information on their plantain website a few years ago so I just went to it to see if it had been updated. It hasn’t been so one of the main companies importing these bananas into the U.S. is still unaware that plantains can, and I would argue should be, eaten raw. Instead they tell people to cook their bananas and provide recipes so people can eat them with bacon, cheese, slave caught shrimp, and factory farmed chicken. I grabbed the following screen shot from their website which out of all the plantain recipes and information does not say anywhere that plantains can be eaten raw, in fact it specifically says ” Eaten cooked (not raw)”.
Leave me alone, let me ripen, and eat me raw!I haven’t had any plantains in a long time as they’re hard to come by in my area however I was fortunate enough to encounter a bunch that was in my opinion harvested way too early considering it was going to be consumed locally and didn’t need to be shipped across an ocean. However after sitting in my room for a week a few ripened to the point I could start eating them. Today is day 14 and the five that remain are fully ripe. Note that when I bought this bunch of unripe bananas I did not cut them from the stem and instead let them drain the once thick and heavy green stem like Cell drained Piccolos arm. The result is a shriveled stem and some really good bananas despite having been harvested a bit too early. Here are some photos I’ve taken over the past two weeks.

plantain bunch day 1plantain bunch ripe day 14plantain ripeness and sizeplantain ripe