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Guineo Verde (green bananas)- Source?

I am looking for a source to order green bananas to make traditional Puerto Rican food. This is very difficult for me because I live in Arkansas and the only source I know of is a grocery in Chicago that will not ship because they cannot guarantee they will stay green. When I say green, I mean VERY green, with absolutely no hint of yellow.

I would gladly pay to have a box shipped to me. Does anyone know of a wholesaler or other distributer of produce where I might try to get these bananas?

Thank you very much for the help.

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  1. wow...i could get you some from la plaza de rio piedras, even from some farm around....can i ship you bananas without getting in trouble?

    i could buy really hard and green, and send overnight with price tag....but youll have to wait till next Miercoles when i get paid...

    1. I think you want plantains and not un-ripened green bananas.

      24 Replies
      1. re: Sam Fujisaka

        actully puertorican food uses both....depends what you want to do...for example

        green banana is used ot make

        alcapurria - a fritter that uses banana and "Yautia" filled with meat
        Guineitos en escabeche - vinagrete style guienos...
        Guineitos hervidos - boiled, they are so nice

        plantain is mostly for tostones, mofongos, platanutres, bollitas de platano (this is so good, its like little puree plantain mad into compresed balls, great for soups!)

        simple toston recipe: (my grandmother style, the best in the world)

        slice into 1 inch thick or maybe a little less, soak in salted water for like 8 minutes, fry but not to much, then again throw into salt water for a 3 minutes, again fry.......carefull you guys know what happens with sald water and very very hot oil....

        1. re: Echotraveler

          Oh Echo, where do you live??? I would happily pay you the cost of the bananas and shipping. I could send it in advance. And yes, it is the actual bananas that I want to make pasteles.

          1. re: Amelie

            Where do you live? Here (Colombia) we have every class of banana and plantain--and we might be closer than Echo.

            1. re: Amelie

              Yo estoy en Puerto Rico

              lol...what colombia? colombia usa? anyway, i would charge after knowing what i will spend...ill get a express usps, guineos, foam cooler, cause ill freeze the day before i send...i could even send more things since youll have more space...how many guineos do you want??

              i like to help home sick people it makes me happy =-)

              1. re: Echotraveler

                Colombia es un pais en America del Sur. You're closer to Arkansas. Do youo know the phyto-sanitary regulations and restrictions regarding banana imports to the US?

                1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                  Como no voy a saber donde esta Colombia? lol...but there colombia usa...

                  no i dont know about imports...but ill just send it like my mom did when i was in ohio...i was home sick and she sent a big foam cooler with rice and beans, meats...i remember, it was a happy moment...

                  i guess being a colony makes it easier...its still sad

                  1. re: Echotraveler

                    Claro. Me olvide que Uds son de los EEUU. I guess you can just send them.

                      1. re: Echotraveler

                        I'm gonna have to cal my mom to figure out a lot of this thread! hahahhaha As she is the one hwo speaks Spanish.

                        Sam thanks so much for the offer tosend from Columbia! wow! And Echo, if my Chicago source doesn't pan out, I may take you up on your offer.

                        We want to have a pastele making party and make as many pasteles as we can for the freezer. How many bananas would it take to make about 60?

                        1. re: Amelie

                          i dont really know.... a lot,i guess
                          but you still need plantain leaf....plz dont just use paper....

                          1. re: Echotraveler

                            I can order the banana leaves, and yes, that is how I prefer them too. My TiTi Millie said it wouldn't be good to freeze them. Mabe if they were green enough, they could stay green thru shipping. we could experiement with a small bunch.

                            When I was in Chicago last weekend, I found a wonderful Puerto Rican neighborhood called Humboldt Park. There I bought 24 pasteles and I have been eating them every day. I am obsessed! I could eat them every day forever. I may need an intervention! haha

                            1. re: Amelie

                              lol

                              i dont think it makes a difference if i freeze them....they will hold up...but yeah let me know...cause im not really sure how many guineos i can fit into a foam cooler...and it could get real expensive..but yeah doing pasteles in arkansas has a price...lol

                              about freezing them i had some in my cooler (not Fridge) for 1 week and they didnt turn yellow at all..watever if i send express it should be there in 1 day...

                              1. re: Echotraveler

                                Would they be the cavendish banana?

                                I am betting if we just got them in a big box, shipped through UPS or FedEx that they would stay green enough. These things get shipped all the time to grocery stores, right?

                                I am willing to pay for a big box! I have got to have my pasteles.

                                But, I think I do have a lead on some from Chicago which would be closer and therefore, quicker. we'll see.

                                Also, if you simply know of a someone who makes them, I may just have you ship me the pasteles in a cooler instead. That might be the thing to do.

                                My family lives in Lajas, but they are very old and I wouldn't want to burden them with the task. Which part of the island do you live in?

                                1. re: Amelie

                                  i am in santurce

                                  im not sure what is cavendish...but ill just send guineos verdes, that are used in pasteles

                                  i could send a big box..i just want to use next day air....to be sure it gets there safe and sound...

                                  plz let me know if you get your chicago contact..ill contact some people i know to see if i could get the guineos cheaper..

                                  1. re: Echotraveler

                                    Ok, please let me know how much for a big box, and also I need the banana leaves...as much for 60 pasteles. I appreciate this more than you will ever know!

                                    1. re: Amelie

                                      Echo, before you take any time to figure out costs, etc, my chicago source came through and we are experimenting with a shipment.

                                      The source is Armitage Produce 773-486-8133 if anyone else is interested.

                                      I ordered 25 pounds of the bananas and with shipping I think it came out to 1.45 a pound.

                                      I am SO excited about making pasteles!!!!

                                      1. re: Amelie

                                        cool! 25 pounds is a lot you know?
                                        lte me know how it comes out.....i bet youll make at least 12 dozens!

                                        1. re: Echotraveler

                                          Update:

                                          The bananas arrived!

                                          They are a pale green, still very green. I have seen them greener. I have them in the cold, dark basement until we can use them on Friday. I hope they do not ripen any more. we'll see. This is a big experiment.

                                          I also bought the mase machine...which is a homemade grater that is machinized. All the Chicago restaurants use it for their masa for pasteles. I will post a link to it later.

                                          1. re: Amelie

                                            I meant to write MASA machine.

                                            Anyway, a snow storm is threatening and my mother and sister may not get over to my house meaning I may have to make 60 pasteles all by myself!!!! I have never even cooked the piccadillo (filling) and that is time consuming, not to mention peeling all those green bananas and wrapping and tying all the pasteles!

                                            But I have 50 bucks worth of impossible to find Guineo Verde in the basement and I can't let them ripen, and ruin.

                                            Wish me luck!

                                            1. re: Amelie

                                              Ok, my family was able to show up and together we made 70 pasteles. The bananas were slight more ripe than we would have liked which resulted in a sweeter pastel. Next time I will go with next day air and hopefully have even better results. They are still very good and we had a fantastic time making them!

                                              We figured we had about 1 dollar each in them, and 25 pounds of green bananas makes about 70 pasteles.

                                              1. re: Amelie

                                                Glad things turned out well. Did you take any photos?

                                                1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                  Yes, I did. I will publish them to my webshots soon.

                                                  1. re: Amelie

                                                    Your post reminds me of my first pastel party after I met my husband's family. Those things are frickin difficult to make! I wanted so badly to impress his mom and titi's that I grated half my fingers off and was in band-aids for a week. I would love a link to the masa machine, it would be a great gift. Also, if you know a good mail order source for ajicitos, my sofrito supply is running low and I don't have any NY visitors scheduled. And for the future, every November the Titi's negotiate with an independent (Asian) grocery in town to get them super green bananas (we are in Arizona, and have same sourcing problems).

                                                    1. re: Amelie

                                                      NICE!...good that you did your pasteles!!! with picadillo? you mean "carne molida???"

          2. You mentioned you purchased a masa machine - where did you get it? I would like one.