I bought these bananas and they taste like wood. I'm not sure if I was supposed to fry them in something or how to prepare them. Also what is the species? I don't think it's platano macho because those had some sweetness to them and had black peels. These are yellow/green.enter image description here

Update: I microwaved one for four minutes and now it's edible so the preliminary answer is you have to cook them similar to potatos. I'm deleting now that I have a working solution with the microwave. (I'm not really a cook).


3 Answers 3


Like bananas, plantains (platano macho in Spanish) start out green and ripen from there. When ripe, they indeed have black peels, and are softer and sweeter. But when not very ripe, the peel is green to yellow-green, and they're harder and just starchy, not sweet.

So, they require some amount of cooking to soften enough to eat, but they don't require a special cooking technique or anything - roast them, fry them, stew them, whatever you like. Thinking of them as vaguely similar to potatoes isn't a bad approach. You can find plenty of recipes online.

As for why I think it's specifically a plantain, not just a green banana of some other kind:

  • you implied it was like a plantain, except with green skin and not sweet
  • the shape, in particular the thick elongated bit on the bottom, looks like a plantain; other bananas usually come to a shorter end
  • you don't mention any sourness
  • 1
    I moved to this geographic area a year ago and have never seen them before. Cooking in the microwave 4 minutes worked and it tastes pretty good, but not sweet. One minute too long and the banana turns into a freeze dried like substance like space ice cream. I'll try grilling tomorrow. Mar 10, 2018 at 3:06
  • 2
    Plantains have a lot of uses, from vegetable and savory dishes to deserts and change character as they ripen. They are always to my knowledge cooked be it grilled, fried or boiled. I suggest searching culinary plantain to avoid results for the weed/herb of the same name.
    – dlb
    Mar 11, 2018 at 1:54

There are so many Caribbean dishes a platano is used in. I deeply recommend to Google and watch YouTubers cook with platanos. If you are a food adventurer and are good at "acquiring tastes," you will love a platano mash (like mashed potatoes), fried plantains, Puerto Rican pasteles, and using them in soups and stews.

Be adventurous and try. As you can see in the image below, there is a tremendous difference between a regular eating banana, an unripened regular eating banana, an ungassed green banana (also called a "cooking green banana"), and a plantain ("platano" in Spanish).

A plantain is a plantain, a regular eating banana is what it is, and a "cooking, ungassed green banana" is what it is.

enter image description here


That appears to be a ungassed banana. They are picked very green & shipped. Once near market they are gassed to turn them yellow. Set them on top of the fridge for a few days. See if they start to ripen there. I base this on when we cut a bunch of bananas down a few are yellow the rest green. We eat the yellow ones. Set the green ones on top of the fridge. Let them ripen & have our bananas for the week. We set the rest of the bunch outside the gate for the neighbors to steal. When we don't have we steal bananas set out front of the neighbors gates.

  • Wrong answer. This are" plátanos macho" or plantains and are usually for cooking, not to eat raw.
    – roetnig
    Mar 12, 2018 at 14:57

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