Storage and Preparation:
Green, yellow, and black spotted
plantains should be stored at room temperature. Once the plantains are
fully ripe and turn completely black, they should be placed in the
vegetable drawer of the refrigerator. They will keep a day or two
longer, but should be cooked as soon as possible.
Green plantains will ripen at room temperature at home. Simply place
them in a cool dry spot. Depending on the original age of the
plantains, it could take up to two weeks for them to turn from green to
almost completely black. The blacker the skin, the sweeter the flesh.
All plantains, even fully ripe ones, should be cooked before eating.
For most recipes they will need to be peeled, but not until they are
ready to cook. Fully ripe plantains peel almost as east as their banana
cousins, but green and slightly yellow plantains can be somewhat
difficult. The skins seem to stick to the flesh.
To peel green plantains, cut a small slice off each end. Cut the
plantain in half across. Use the point of a very sharp knife to make
four cuts through the skin lengthwise down the whole length of the
vegetable. Take the point of the knife and pry up one corner of one of
the strips of peel. Pull off the strip. It may be easier to pull the
strip sideways rather than down the length of the plantain. Repeat with
the other strips of peel. If you want to use the peeled plantains
whole, simply cut off the ends and make the four cuts down the whole
length of the vegetable. It may be a little difficult at first, but
preserve and it will become easier. The peeled plantains are ready to