Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Aldi Product Feature: Cheap Plantains at Aldi 4 for $1

The plantain is a fruit  that many people are unfamiliar with, and I was too until I met my Caribbean husband. Now plantains have become a regular part of my cooking, and it always amazes me how many ways you can cook them. Aldi has cheap plantains, and they are just as good as we everywhere else.

Plantains are very similar to bananas, in fact they are a member of the banana family, and in many Caribbean countries they are known as cooking bananas. However, plantains are harder than regular bananas, they very starchy, have lower sugar content, and they usually have to be cooked in order to be eaten. Some people refer to plantains as dessert bananas, and my first encounter was actually with flamed plantains, a dessert my aunt served in England when I was about 10 years old. I have yet to try making flamed plantains, as I am a bit intimidated by the fire part.

Green plantains can be boiled and has a bit of a plain pototato feel and taste. I am not a fan of these, but my husband cooks them with his Jamaican meals such as fish, chicken stew, or soup. He loads a lot of extremely hot habanero sauce onto it, so that he cannot really taste the blandness.

When the plantains start ripening and turning yellow, I become a fan and so do my kids. Yellow plantains can be cooked in a myriad of ways, and my neighbors always surprise me with new plantain recipes.

Slice the plantain skin down the sides
Boiled: Cut the plantain in two, slice the skin down the side a few times and boil them for about 10 minutes, until the skin starts opening up. Once it is boiled it, you can cut it into small pieces, or serve it as a half plantain. The boiled yellow plantains are sweet, soft, and if overcooked they become a bit mushy.
Plantain ready to be eaten

Fried: Slice the plantains into thin slices, and fry them in heated oil. Once they start browning slightly turn them. When done put them on a piece of paper towel to remove excess oil. My kids like these, but I only cook them on special occasion as the frying part takes away the healthiness of the plantain itself.

Grilled: In many southern states plaintains are also put on the grill, but I have yet to make an attempt.
Ready To Eat: Fried and Boiled Plantains

I buy our plantains at Aldi, because they have the best price. At Aldi I can get 4 plantains for $1, compared to 2 for $1 at Publix. The plantains are mostly green at the store, and they will likely have to sit on your shelf at home for at least a couple of days before they start turning yellow and black. Don't be scared, if the plaintain turns black, unless it is completely soft and mushy it can still be eaten, and it will probably be very sweet at that stage.

Cheap plantains at Aldi is definitely a great bonus, and it will make me keep coming back.

Did you ever try eating and cooking plantains? What kind is your favorite?


  1. I love plantains, but I've never cooked them from fresh plantains, only frozen. I plan on stopping by Aldi this weekend so maybe I'll pick some up!

  2. Never have tasted them. This is very interesting seeing them -- would love to try a fried one.

  3. Chocoholic, you should definitely give them a try. I bet you will love them, and they are so easy to cook.

    Cheryl, the fried ones are quite tasty:)

  4. The Aldi I went to this week had $0.99 Dole pineapples. I got two.