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Aug 15, 2007 03:29 PM

plàtanos madurìsimos

A few years ago there were at least two places in the Mission District that sold way-overripe plàtanos (plantains), the skins completely black and wrinkly, sometimes with a little gray mold, the fruit pink and soft and intensely sweet. Lately I can't find these; I tried four produce stores this morning and while they had ripe ones (yellow skins with substantial black areas) as well as the green ones, nobody had them at the next stage (one place used to put these in a separate bin marked "Maduros #2") that I think is the tastiest. Anybody know where else I might find them? If you're making twice-fried tostones the medium-ripe ones are fine, but for once-fried amarillas you can't beat the #2's.

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  1. I've definitely seen them at several places in the Mission. You should keep looking.Where were you this morning?

    Some possibilities are linked below...but there are a few more I don't know the names of. At Casa Lucas, I think they are usually located outside, near the yuca. There's another place even closer to Potrero Ave (right near Manivanh Thai restaurant) that often has overripe plantains as well.

    Also, there is a fruit market just south of Taqueria San Jose on Mission and 24th, and then another one further down on the opposite side of the street (around 26th and Mission).

    So if you can get to 24th and Mission, check around there, and if you don't find any, head east on 24th Street and I think you'd be able to find them somewhere between Mission and Bryant.

    Dave MP

    Casa Lucas Market
    2934 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

    23rd & Mission Produce
    2700 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

    El Chico Produce Market 4
    2965 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

    1. For tostones you need green plantains! not maduros. Those can be hard to find around here too.

      Probably out of your way but Oriental Lucky Mart in Oakland has always had super-ripe ones when I've been there.

      Berkeley Bowl sometimes has bags of them on the bargain shelves at the back of the produce department.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        Yes, the East Bay is sort of off my circuit; where exactly is Oriental Lucky Mart?

        1. re: rootlesscosmo

          Downtown Oakland.

          Oriental Lucky Mart
          535 8th St, Oakland, CA 94607

      2. props to cosmo for using the accents!

        it may be just easier for you to buy the yellow with black spotted ones and have them 'rot' at your house...usually week and a half. That's what we do in order to get the closest facsimile to what we would find back in Guate. We usually get ours at Fiesta Latina in San Mateo and they usually are Chiquita from Guatemala :)

        5 Replies
        1. re: Cat Chow

          That's what I'll do by default, though I've only got from yesterday (when I bought them) till Saturday (when we roast the lechòn in our Caja China.) Thanks for the approval re accents, Cat Chow.

          1. re: rootlesscosmo

            caja china... del Peru? BTW if you are Peruvian and/or have family back home, hope everyone is safe!

            or caja china Cubano? If so, habran frijolitos negros?

            the "sin acento" gato >^..^<

            1. re: Cat Chow

              Caja China de Florida (estilo Cubano),


              y claro que sì, frijolitos negros con sofrito, arroz, amarillas con crema.

              Thanks for good wishes--I'm not Peruvian but if any Peruànos are reading, I join in good wishes.

              1. re: rootlesscosmo

                This Caja China has possibilities!! We do Pierna (whole fresh pork leg, bone in) least once a year and I'm reading it can be used for that, as well (I thought it was only for Lechon) Gracias y saludos!

                1. re: Cat Chow

                  I did a 40-pound lechòn (from La Gallinita, 24th & Harrison in San Francisco) Saturday and it was great. Marinated 3 days in a solution of 1 gal. water to 1 pound kosher salt, juice of 6 oranges and 2 lemons, about 12 cloves of garlic smashed with a mallet, and a couple of spoonsfuls of dried oregano. Served with mòros (¡pero sì, con sofrito!) y cristianos and plàtanos con crema to about 35 very happy people, with enough leftovers for two or three more dinners. And a friend of mine did a 50-pound lamb, raised on her own farm, and said it was terrific--cooked in under 2 hours. My one word of advice for a pierna would be to check it for doneness--you might want to use one of those thermometers with a long probe so you don't have to open the Caja. It gets really hot in that box and you wouldn't want to burn that delicious pernìl. Otherwise, go for it!