Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >
Feb 27, 2011 05:09 AM

So what would be the point of "green bananas"?

I went to the grocery store to pick up bananas and I saw a bin full of what was called on the sign "green bananas" which they were indeed.

I bought a bunch of these green bananas thinking that if I left them out in the kitchen they would ripen and become yellow bananas (and edible).

It's been days now and the bananas are still green and inedible. Obviously I misunderstood what these "green bananas' are and how they are used in cooking. Can anyone explain? Thanks.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Use them as you would a potato. Boil (in skin) & mash and slice and roast are good options. I actually ended up with quite a bit of them last week, so had to make do. Did have some fun by cooking them with scallops, heart of palm and a white sauce. It's a nice occasional alternative to the common starches.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ediblover

      Thanks! I think I'll try boiling them.

    2. Google "plantains" for a bunch of other good ways to use them. Quite a nice vegetable.

      1. They're just unripe plantains and will take a long time to ripen but can be used as is when cooked. They are used for tostones and I've also had them as patacones - the Venezuelan sandwich which substitutes mashed, fried pieces of plantain for bread.

        In Honduran cuisine they are used in soups. I've had them in Sopa de Caracol, the national dish of conch soup, with ripe plantain, carrot and coconut milk. The contrast of the green banana with the ripe was an interesting pairing and a luscious soup. Years ago I had a little also in a Sopa de Gallina - hen soup - with ripe plantain, potato, yuca, carrot and cabbage. I didn't know what they were at the time but it was an awesome chicken soup.

        I think they were peeled before being cooked in all these dishes, not boiled in the skin.

        1 Reply
        1. re: brucesw

          If I've learned one thing in the past year in Guatemala, it is that plantains are NOT green bananas. Unless, the market mislabled plantains as bananas, they are different. This is a good article about the difference.

          While I am getting better, I still have trouble identifying which is which. I bought some red bananas and everyone took one look and said "bananas". Darn if they weren't banasa.

          While the inquiry here is not worded well, the reply that person got was great. And I agree with the last sentence.

          "From my experience plantains tend to have thinker skin than sweet bananas. I also think that they are more angular and bananas being more rounded"

          All that being said, green bananas ... if that's what they were ... see to be able to be used like plantains, despite the difference in water content.

          Don't even get me started on "NO, that is NOT a plantain leaf. It is a banana leaf" ... and visa versa.