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Old 07-17-2010, 09:46 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Plantain/Cooking banana preference

I don't know much about cooking bananas and wanted some input. I have really only had one type of cooing banana that I got from a little Latin American market. I did not like them much they seemed dry and mealy. I was wondering what everyone here likes to cook with. OH and I am not talking just about frying or deep frying everything is good like that.

I would really like to know what people prefer in places where it is a staple. They seem like they would know what is good and what isn't. I mean they are eating it everyday.
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Old 07-17-2010, 10:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Plantain/Cooking banana preference

The best as a staple...Fei...not readily available though...

Next Saba..good fried green, boiled green, tostones, pan fried/microwaved ripe...etc.,

Next Hua Moa....Ae Ae is another good one.


Fei:




Hua Moa:

Banana ID



Ae Ae

Recipe: Ae Ae Banana Chips / Ae Ae Plantain Mariquetas Bananenchips

Recipe: Ae Ae Banana Chips / Ae Ae Plantain Mariquetas Bananenchips
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Old 07-17-2010, 10:40 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Plantain/Cooking banana preference

Seafood City Banana selection
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Old 07-17-2010, 11:06 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Plantain/Cooking banana preference

I have had a saba as a dessert banana but I have not cooked them, they might be better that way. I did not like them ripe.

I have cooked a hua moa, and eaten a hua moa as a dessert. Cooking them was good and eating it as a dessert banana needs some work. I didn't wait long enough to get full flavor. I did get just a hint of good flavor now and then eating it but it was still not ripe enough. I am going to try again but they are not carrying them at the moment.

So when I think of cooking I think of plantain. Now do plantains ripen enough to be eaten fresh? The reason I ask is I though I read somewhere that a hua moa isn't a true plantain. If it doesn't matter then I guess I have eaten two cooking bananas, the hua moa and that nasty plantain.

Oh and if you can tell me where to get a fe'i I would try it in a heart beat.
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Old 07-18-2010, 01:10 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Plantain/Cooking banana preference

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Originally Posted by DoctorSteve View Post
I have had a saba as a dessert banana but I have not cooked them, they might be better that way. I did not like them ripe.
They are awesome out of hand when "fully ripe". Microwave when ripe for about 30 seconds with frozen yogurt..best banana you will ever have.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DoctorSteve View Post
I have cooked a hua moa, and eaten a hua moa as a dessert. Cooking them was good and eating it as a dessert banana needs some work. I didn't wait long enough to get full flavor. I did get just a hint of good flavor now and then eating it but it was still not ripe enough. I am going to try again but they are not carrying them at the moment.
Hua Moa is the first banana plant I ever purchased (prior 25 or so years I only grew plants passed on from friends)....from Going Bananas in 1993 based on Bill Lessard's wife's recommendation....if I could only grow one banana it would be Hua Moa. You have to let them get good and ripe before you harvest. Whenever I hear that someone does not like Hua Moa..they were picked too green and did not go through sufficient hydrolysis.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DoctorSteve View Post
Oh and if you can tell me where to get a fe'i I would try it in a heart beat.
You tell me and we both will know. This is a a very rare banana..even in areas that it was formerly grown commercially. The last I knew of someone growing Fei in the continental U.S. was Bill Lessard in 1993 (he listed them in his catalog).
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Old 07-18-2010, 06:45 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Plantain/Cooking banana preference

Some things to consider are that the flavor and texture can vary widely within the same cultivar depending on its ripeness and method of cooking. It is best to experiment, even with varieties which are not referred to as cooking bananas, because there is really no inherent difference. Some varieties will have less starch to sugar conversion when ripe, so they can still be firm to some degree if cooked when ripe, as opposed to a very sugary ripe banana which often becomes very soft and falls apart when cooked.

Some oberservation from Uganda where I am currently located studying banana breeding for a few months:

The local bananas are referred to as the East African Highland Bananas in the banana science world (the name of the subgroup) and matooke in Uganda (with the highest production), they are AAA. In Uganda where it is a major staple (up to ~5kg/person/week), they are most commonly peeled when green (with a knife), steamed or boiled, and then mashed and served with some kind of sauce. However they are also commonly sold roasted in the skins. These bananas happen to make great dessert bananas too, but no one here uses them for that. Although its wonderful and interesting to see how people who depend on them use them, don't get stuck on using them in that way only. The preferences are purely cultural, though the actual cultivars may be popular in completely different fashion somewhere else, or may lend themselves well to a method/use that no one commonly practices. Also, people who use them to such an extent tend to be somewhat stubborn in accepting that they may be used in different ways. If you ask a Uganda how to eat matooke bananas, you will never hear that they can be eaten as dessert bananas.

Plantains are around, but not nearly as abundant as matooke. Here they are normally peeled raw when part-green and part-ripe, and then roasted. However, in central and west Africa they are much more abundant and are prepared in many many ways.

A few other cooking bananas are around, most notably a form of 'Silver Bluggoe' known locally as 'Kivuvu'. I have had it when peeled and steamed when unripe, but I know it is used in other ways too.

A good place to start when thinking about how to cook bananas is to imagine they are potatoes (or sweetpotatoes....or really any starchy vegetable), and then try to prepare different varieties in different stages of ripeness to find what you like.

My quick tests for cooking bananas is to take a completely unripe fruit, poke it with a fork and cook it in the microwave for 1-2 min. This can give you some idea about the texture and flavor. If I have a fire going or when at a barbecue, I also will put green fruits on the grill or on some coals to cook, when the skin is all black and it seems soft, it can peeled and eaten.
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Old 07-18-2010, 07:29 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Plantain/Cooking banana preference

Quote:
Originally Posted by DoctorSteve View Post
So when I think of cooking I think of plantain. Now do plantains ripen enough to be eaten fresh? The reason I ask is I though I read somewhere that a hua moa isn't a true plantain. If it doesn't matter then I guess I have eaten two cooking bananas, the hua moa and that nasty plantain.

Oh and if you can tell me where to get a fe'i I would try it in a heart beat.
I don't have too much experience with them, but with the 3 or so plantain varieties I have eaten raw, ripe, they were fine. Not really comparable to popular dessert bananas, but the flavor and texture are agreeable and they are easy to eat. But I would guess there are at least some varieties which are still astringent when ripe, but I haven't run across them yet (there at least 113 cultivars in Africa alone so I have a long way to go!).

If you make it to the Big Island of Hawaii, at the Hilo farmers market there is a Samoan lady who sells here home grown Fe'i, but that's the only place I have ever seen them sold in the US!

On the subject of Fe'i, the one thing I really like about the ones I've had ('Aiuri), is that even when they are ripe as can be and totally soft, they still cook well. They don't stay firm, they come out like mashed potatoes, but they don't taste or feel like a cooked ripe Cavendish like most other bananas do when cooked ripe, which are sweet and wet kinda. Then again, fe'i taste very unique among bananas, even when ripe, so it's hard to compare them to any others.
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Old 07-18-2010, 10:32 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Plantain/Cooking banana preference

Quote:
Hua Moa is the first banana plant I ever purchased (prior 25 or so years I only grew plants passed on from friends)....from Going Bananas in 1993 based on Bill Lessard's wife's recommendation....if I could only grow one banana it would be Hua Moa. You have to let them get good and ripe before you harvest. Whenever I hear that someone does not like Hua Moa..they were picked too green and did not go through sufficient hydrolysis.
I am going to try again. When I was eating it I ran across a few little spots in the banana that had what I called intense banana flavor. I tried them before not as rip and that flavor was nonexistent. So I was thinking this must be the flavor that comes out as it ripens. If I am right I will get a Hua Moa no question about it. One quick question, do they have to be picked at a certain time? We can only get them green, I have just been letting them sit till ripe(well what I thought was ripe).

Quote:
The local bananas are referred to as the East African Highland Bananas in the banana science world (the name of the subgroup) and matooke in Uganda (with the highest production), they are AAA. In Uganda where it is a major staple (up to ~5kg/person/week), they are most commonly peeled when green (with a knife), steamed or boiled, and then mashed and served with some kind of sauce.
I had just read about that, I guess they usually serve it with a peanut sauce, so I have read anyway. It sounded great. I want to try it because I have read about a test of introduced bananas in that area to see if they could be used as a substitute for matook. I don't remember the varieties but they did not find the texture suitable. So I was thinking it must have a unique texture that is needed for the dish.

Quote:
I don't have too much experience with them, but with the 3 or so plantain varieties I have eaten raw, ripe, they were fine. Not really comparable to popular dessert bananas, but the flavor and texture are agreeable and they are easy to eat. But I would guess there are at least some varieties which are still astringent when ripe, but I haven't run across them yet (there at least 113 cultivars in Africa alone so I have a long way to go!).
I was thinking that plantains had little or no amylase in the fruit and therefore less sweet when ripe, but I guess there probably isn't really a standard.

Quote:
If you make it to the Big Island of Hawaii, at the Hilo farmers market there is a Samoan lady who sells here home grown Fe'i, but that's the only place I have ever seen them sold in the US!

On the subject of Fe'i, the one thing I really like about the ones I've had ('Aiuri), is that even when they are ripe as can be and totally soft, they still cook well. They don't stay firm, they come out like mashed potatoes, but they don't taste or feel like a cooked ripe Cavendish like most other bananas do when cooked ripe, which are sweet and wet kinda. Then again, fe'i taste very unique among bananas, even when ripe, so it's hard to compare them to any others.
Your killin me Gabe! I have to try one. Ever since I read about them in Banana: The Fate of the Fruit That Changed the World, I wanted ot try one. He mentioned how they are not like any other banana, and how good they taste.
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Old 07-18-2010, 11:47 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Plantain/Cooking banana preference

Quote:
Originally Posted by DoctorSteve View Post
I am going to try again. When I was eating it I ran across a few little spots in the banana that had what I called intense banana flavor. I tried them before not as rip and that flavor was nonexistent. So I was thinking this must be the flavor that comes out as it ripens. If I am right I will get a Hua Moa no question about it. One quick question, do they have to be picked at a certain time? We can only get them green, I have just been letting them sit till ripe(well what I thought was ripe).
Appears they never ripened. They may have been refrigerated? Or something else stopped the ripening process....all starch...no banana sweetness from insufficient hydrolysis.

Maya Hawaiian plantains

Hawaiian Plantains

platano hawaiano

Banana ID



Quote:
Originally Posted by DoctorSteve View Post
Your killin me Gabe! I have to try one. Ever since I read about them in Banana: The Fate of the Fruit That Changed the World, I wanted ot try one. He mentioned how they are not like any other banana, and how good they taste.
You have no idea...lol..

Gabe has experienced Fei in a manner we can only dream of....

Musa 'Aiuri', fe'i banana

fe'i bananas in Manoa Valley

Colored Bananas...

momoese is all over this banana as well!

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Old 07-18-2010, 12:23 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Illustrated guide to the identification of banana varieties in the South Pacific

Illustrated guide to the identification of banana varieties in the South Pacific
4 PDF Files

Illustrated guide to the identification of banana varieties in the South Pacific | ACIAR

Page 38 Plate 64
Soa'a
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Old 10-20-2010, 10:00 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Plantain/Cooking banana preference

Thanks to Nicolas!

Check out what a South Florida Chef thinks of these bananas:

Hua Moas make the USA ark of food



Rare Hua Moa Banana-Plantain in the House
Posted on August 27, 2010 by the genuine kitchen| 3 Comments

A ripe Hua Moa (naked and mashed above) is custard-like. Michael and Hedy say it tastes like banana cream pie.
Perched on the food bar today is a stalk of Hua Moa, a rare banana-plantain cross brought to South Florida from the Pacific Islands in 1960 by William F. Whitman Jr., a self-taught horticulturist who became renowned for collecting rare tropical fruits from around the world and popularizing them in the United States. The sample is courtesy of Slow Food Miami’s Donna Reno and Noel Ramos, who hooked us up with Larry Siegel, a Brooklyn-born fruit tree grower in Davie, FL.
“I lived in Brazil for a while and liked exotic fruits,” he explains. “I started with lychee, cherimoyas, longans, avocados… They took a big hit during hurricanes Irene and Wilma. Coconut, papaya, and bananas always hang on!”
Siegel’s been at it since 1996, and his 35 acres are divided into rows that intermix the different tree varieties, alternating coconut, then banana, then coconut, etc. It’s a technique that benefits both, promoting good growth and taste.
Hua Moa was originally from southeast Asia but was carried to the South Pacific in canoes and rafts to the Marquesas Islands and then on to Hawaii. It’s now cultivated in South Dade by a handful of small growers like Siegel. It is the only place in the continental United States where they are found. Slow Food Miami is co-nominating the Hua Moa with Slow Food Hawaii for Slow Food USA’s Ark of Taste, a catalog of over 200 delicious foods in danger of extinction. Read more about the Hua Moa below, and the Ark of Taste here.
* This unusual plantain is a culinary favorite in Cuban, Caribbean and Central and South American communities
* Its name comes from the Polynesian word for “Chicken Egg” as the fruit is egg-shaped; it’s also called Hawaiiano
* The fruit can be eaten fresh or cooked, when the skin is either green (under ripe) or dark brown (ripe)
* Hua Moa has poor cold tolerance, and requires intensive care; it’s recommended only for planting with disease-free material in warm, protected sites free of Panama disease
* Hua Moa grows 10 to 12 ft. and is produced commercially on the east coast of Florida; the elongated melon-shaped fruits are 6 to 11 inches long and 3 inches or more in diameter
* The fruit is sour in taste, sometimes sweet, typically eaten baked with cinnamon and sugar, smashed and fried green (tostones,) or in meat soup (Colombian)
Information from Slow Food Hawaii’s Ken Love on Hawaiian bananas:
* Hawaiian bananas are all endangered and all more susceptible to disease than other bananas
* Most are critically endangered in Hawaii with many varieties having fewer than 600 stands left in the US
* A dozen or more types of bananas have been lost to disease and various critters. Its essential that we protect what’s left regardless of where it is grown now
Rare Hua Moa Banana-Plantain in the House | the genuine kitchen




http://www.slowfoodmiami.com/wp-cont...eb_revised.jpg



Oct. 26: Ark of Taste Dinner


Recipe: Hua Moa Tostones
Posted on October 1, 2010 by the genuine kitchen| Leave a comment
In Miami, we’re spoiled by tostones. They’re everywhere! So when we received our first samples of the rare Hua Moa plantain, and they were green, we immediately thought of frying them up.
These revelatory tostones, which you can now make at home with Michael’s original recipe below, are just the jumping-off point. Michael, Hedy, and Bradley have all been planning our menu for Slow Food Miami’s October 26 feast, er, event to celebrate Hua Moa’s nomination into the Ark of Taste. As the not-so-secret ingredient, it will appear in no less than 11 items! There is a heritage pig from Palmetto Creek Farms involved, and of course, Hedy has brought the funk in Hua Moa desserts. More details to come on Slow Food Miami’s website. For the record, we warned you tickets would move quickly!
Hua Moa Tostones
Yields 12 to 16 tostones
Step by step Flickr set here
I’ve had some good tostones, but never anything like this. What happens when the rare Hua Moa plantain hits hot oil is a thing of greatness. Crispy on the outside and creamy sweet on the inside. It elevates pedestrian tostones – which can be very good – to a whole new level. After testing a few different methods in the kitchen, here’s what we found to make the best. There are few ingredients, but not without specific steps to follow in order for these to come out just right.
Ingredient note: The skin of the unripe fruit is easy to remove with a quick blanch. Make one shallow slit lengthwise, just through the skin. Blanch the slit plantains in boiling water for about 1 minute or until the skin turns brown. Remove them and place in an ice bath. The skin will now be easy to peel and remove.
Hua Moa plantains are originally from southeast Asia and were carried to the South Pacific in canoes and rafts to the Marquesas Islands and then on to Hawaii. The fruit, an elongated, fat version of the common variety, grows about 6 to 11 inches in length and 3 inches or more in diameter, in bunches on 10 to 12 foot plants. It’s now cultivated by Larry Siegel in Davie, one of a handful of small growers in South Dade – the only place in the continental United States where they are found. Larry can ship his Hua Moas directly to any customers in the U.S. via his website or by phone (954.297.6677.) Also some of the Cuban fruit stands in Miami occasionally carry Hua Moas which are known to them as Platanos Hawayano. Try Palacio de los Jugos, but call first (305.264.4557.)
4 unripe (green) Hua Moa plantains, peeled and sliced into 1 ½ inch rounds
Vegetable oil for frying
Kosher salt for seasoning
Heat 4 inches of oil to 350 ºF in a countertop electric fryer or deep pot. If you don’t have a deep-fry thermometer, a good way to test if the oil is hot enough is to stick the end of a wooden spoon or chopstick in it. If bubbles circle around the end, then you’re good to go.
Fry plantain rounds all together for about 1½ minutes or just before they start to turn golden. Remove from the fryer with a slotted spoon and transfer to an aluminum bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rounds sit for 5 minutes. Leave the oil at temperature on the stovetop.
Place one round at a time, cut side up, on the center of a lightly-oiled wooden cutting board. Using both hands on each side, take another small oiled board or flat surface and press down evenly to flatten the disc to ½ inch thick. Carefully lift the board. The plantain disc will now be about 3 to 4 inches in diameter. To remove, carefully slide a chef knife under the disc to transfer to a plate. Repeat, layering with squares of parchment paper.
Fry the discs, this time in batches of 3 or 4, without crowding, for about 2 to 3 minutes more or until golden brown. With tongs transfer plantains as fried to paper towels to drain. Season generously with salt and serve immediately, straight up.
Recipe: Hua Moa Tostones | the genuine kitchen

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Old 10-21-2010, 02:59 AM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Plantain/Cooking banana preference

Seen yesterday on "How it's made" :
HowStuffWorks Videos "How It's Made: Plantain Chips"
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Old 10-21-2010, 11:06 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Plantain/Cooking banana preference

I am not a big fan of fried ripe hua moas, the green ones are really good though. I've been eating macho plantains for most of my life and I am pretty partial to them green and ripe. Platano Burro has a wide range of taste, but I am not fond of them ripe. Hands down ripe Nam Wahs are the best fried banana there is. They are like a dessert.
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Old 10-21-2010, 01:04 PM   #14 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Plantain/Cooking banana preference

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Originally Posted by rick2001 View Post
Seen yesterday on "How it's made" :
HowStuffWorks Videos "How It's Made: Plantain Chips"
I've tried to cook this recipe just one hour ago.... I have to admit that the taste is very very good, challenging closely the potato chips.... and it's easy and quick to make it.
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