Many cookbooks and chefs recommend cooking green plantains before eating them. Is it just because of all the starch? Or are there any toxins as in sprouting potatoes? Does the ratio of amylose to amylopectin have anything to do with the recommendation?

  • 3
    Have you ever eaten a raw green plantain? YUCK!
    – Jolenealaska
    Commented Nov 2, 2013 at 19:51
  • 7
    Cookbooks and chefs would probably recommend cooking potatoes before eating too.
    – Cascabel
    Commented Nov 3, 2013 at 5:14
  • In my experience, both amylase and amylopectin taste bad when uncooked. It is probably more the ratio of sugar to starch which is important here. (Starches turn to sugar while ripening).
    – rumtscho
    Commented Nov 4, 2013 at 11:57
  • I stumbled on this page while looking for solution to stomach upset after eating a meal of unripe plantain. I now suspect that it was not well cooked. I had indigestion all night. Thsnks for your response.
    – Sammy
    Commented Nov 23, 2016 at 11:07

2 Answers 2


According to the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN) "Banana and plantain do not contain significant levels of any toxic principles." Raw, unripe plantains can be difficult to digest, especially if eaten in large quantities. Doing so can lead to upset stomach. This may be due to the fact that they contain starches resistant (RS2) to digestive enzymes, compounds that inhibit salivary amylase production, and significant quantities of amylose.

Raw, unripe plantains and bananas also have a starchy or waxy texture and a bitter flavor which can be unpalatable.


If you eat a brown very ripe Plantain, they taste just like a banana. Any plantain that is green or yellow, will taste better peeled and cooked.Be sure to use a peeler for this as it is almost impossible to take the skin off of an unripe plantain.

  • This is essentially repeating the question, not answering it.
    – user34961
    Commented Jul 13, 2017 at 12:33
  • @JanDoggen how so? The question says nothing about flavor.
    – Catija
    Commented Jul 13, 2017 at 13:10

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