Me + the banana’s gangster cousin

18 Mar

So, I really like mashing food. I mean, I’ve mashed potatoes before, but that’s more time-consuming than entertaining. I’ve also mashed a blueberry or two, but that was on accident. The second time, at least!

But I’m getting ahead of myself – let’s start at the beginning. In class, my Spanish teacher was waxing poetic on the joys of eating fried plantains (or in Spanish, tostones) in his native country of Cuba. I was skeptical, having eaten uncooked plantain in Haiti, which is tasteless and lacking of any good qualities whatsoever. But my Spanish teacher is very persuasive, and he sealed my fate by saying, “Plantains are getting more popular around here. You can find them in Kroger, even!”

I did find them at Kroger. There were about 10 of them beside the stand of a thousand bananas. Having done my tostones research, I picked the two greenest ones and set off.

To make fried plantains, you peel the plantains (which requires a knife – they’re like a banana’s super tough cousin from prison). Then you cut them in 1-inch slices and fry them until golden. After that, you SMASH THEM! I used a can of tomato soup for the smashing, but there are actual plantain smashers you can buy if you prefer. So basically you take a slice, and squish it with the can. Then when your friend asks what you did all day, you can reply, “I smashed stuff.” No need to go to prison; you’re already super tough!


Steps 1-4 (the pics are from my iPhone because I had to hurry to get to a concert                            after dinner – shout out to Walk Off The Earth…y’all are amazing!)

After you smash them all, you refry them until light brown and crispy. Luego, you can pretty much do whatever you want – sprinkle salt and pepper on them, top with onions and peppers, eat ’em plain…I made a garlic lime dipping sauce I found online, and it was pretty good. If there was nothing to dip them in, though, they would’ve been pretty boring.

Now, if you’re American, I can’t encourage you to travel to Cuba for touristic purposes. The embargo on Cuba has been around for 53 years, and lately some are wondering why it’s still around. But if you’re a journalist or a humanitarian worker or a study-abroad student, go right ahead!

If you ever do find yourself there – welcome to the Caribbean, luv! Take a look at these pictures…all I want to do in Cuba is walk around and then swim around and then lay around. And somewhere in between those things, I could smash more plantains.


681x454What do you think about the island or food of Cuba? Do you wish you could visit it easily and legally?



2 Responses to “Me + the banana’s gangster cousin”

  1. allthingsgoodandwise April 2, 2013 at 7:44 pm #

    Looks beautiful, and I love plantains. Yes, I would love to visit Cuba. I am most curious about seeing their 1950’s cars that they supposedly refurbish and keep running.

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