Many parts of Colombia rely on plantains as a regular part of their diet. They are high in vitamin A, potassium, and fiber. We have learned to eat plantains in many different ways. At first, the kids did not like them, but now we eat them regularly.
Roasted plantains might be served plain, or stuffed with cheese and bocadillo (guayaba paste). They may be sliced thin and fried. There is plantain soup, and packaged "chips" like we have for potatoes. Some recipes call for green plantains and some for ripe ones, and you can buy chips in each form as well. The green ones are very bitter and good with salt, and the ripe ones sweeten up really nicely when cooked.
One of our favorites is called "Patacones." The first time we had these, we were in Armenia and they were smashed very, very thin, fried, and served with trout on top. It is a very common food in the coastal regions as well.
Our friend Roberto, who grew up on the coast agreed to come over and show us how to make these ourselves. His wife Shalom came and helped us with the accompaniments as well. It was so nice to have them in our home and share this incredible food with them.
We used green plantains.
Roberto peeled them, and cut them up diagonally.
Then he fried them in oil for a long time until they softened up.
When they were soft, we smashed them in an oiled plastic bag, and then fried them again.
They were deliciously crispy and salty.
Shalom helped us learn how to make a tomato accompaniment called guiso or hogau. It is made with onions, tomatoes, and red peppers and in the form of a chunky salsa, which can be made spicy or not (but normally is not).
I had put a pork loin in the crock pot all day to roast, and we also had guacamole, limes, costaño cheese, and the guiso. It was a spectacular meal, with spectacular company, and it reminded me of why some people in my family have a tendency to swear when food tastes so good. It was definitely swear-worthy.
Thank you, Shalom and Roberto for sharing this gift with us.