In my family, if you didn’t eat plantain for lunch you hadn’t eaten completely.
Plantain is a very important staple in family and I would say for most Venezuelan families. You eat it with rice and beans, or with rice and meat, even with pasta. Anything that is savoury and very salty needs to be served with the sweetness of the plantain.
It’s such versatile food. You can fry it, bake it, grill it or boil it. You can eat on its own or make it into a cake or patties. You can eat it when is ripe, eat it when is green. When ripe, add butter and cheese on top for both to melt. When green, fry it twice and add lots of salt like you would to french fries.
Plantain is part of the Venezuelan national dish – Pabellon – which made up of white rice, shredded beef, black beans and fried plantain.
As a kid, I would eat it in any shape or form. When for some reason my mom was out of plantain she would fry bananas or would make ‘Torticas de harina” – mini pancakes with sugar on top. Just something to add some sweetness in your meal.
One of my favourite ways of eating plantains is by making patacones.
Patacones are made with ripe plantain. You usually would fry the plantain the make a patty with it. That’s your base. On top of it you would normally add a layer of meat (shredded chicken or beef), followed by a layer of black beans, followed by chopped tomatoes and avocado and topped with queso llanero (Venezuelan cheese).