Plantain chips (ripe and spicy) are mainly made from ripe plantain (called plantain in Africa). This false fruit still takes various names depending on the geographical location: pig banana in some regions, flour banana or yellow banana in the West Indies, or cooking banana. This banana is richer in starch than those usually eaten for dessert. It is commonly eaten in much of Africa, the Caribbean, Central America and some South American countries.
What is Banana plantain ?
Cultivated throughout sub-Saharan Africa, plantains are used in many traditional and popular dishes, most often in mashed or fried slices. It is also cultivated in the Caribbean, Central and South America, the southern United States and southern India. It is the staple diet of several billion people around the world. Every year, about 45 million tons of plantain are produced. 85% of the plantain production is consumed locally. In some African countries, plantain accounts for more than a quarter of the daily caloric intake.
Nutritional value of Banana plantains
Thanks to its high carbohydrate content, the plantain is an essential source of energy in the food rations of certain populations: its energy intake is around 120 calories (500 k Joules) per 100 g of cooked plantain.
Due to the strong dominance of complex carbohydrates (starch), and a high fibre content (5.8 g per 100 g), this energy is gradually released into the body.
The plantain banana can thus play the role of basic carbohydrate food in the diet. It also has another highly appreciated characteristic: a good capacity to satisfy the appetite.
Uses of plantain banana chips
They can be served whole or pureed, fried in oil (they are then called allocos), cut lengthwise or in thin slices like potato chips, threaded on skewers, in small cylinders alternating with small cubes of meat, etc. They can also be fried in oil after being crushed and mixed with a little flour…
They can also be cut into strips and dried with a little salt.