Plantains are a staple in many homes across the Caribbean, Southeast Asia, and Africa. Why? It’s easy to cook in a variety of ways and adds a hint of sweetness to a plate. While a lot of people prefer to fry the fruit, it can be roasted, sauteed, baked, and grilled.
Originally from Southeast Asia, plantains often feel like the adult sibling of bananas because they’re typically served with heavier, dinner options. “You can find these at every African grocery,” Nigerian-American Chef Yewande Komolafe told Saveur about plantains. “I like mine really ripe—almost totally black on the outside, and sugary sweet. They can be sliced and deep fried, or roasted and mashed.”
The following dishes from Black chefs show the duplicity of plantains in how it can be prepared and what it can be served with.