International » Plantain Stages of Ripeness & Uses
It's a fruit. It's a vegetable. Well, its uses are dual! Plantains are one of the most versatile foods you'll find. Depending on their stage of ripeness - from green, yellow, dappled, black - they can be cooked for savory or sweet dishes. Packed with vitamin A and potassium, plantains are popular in the Caribbean and Nuevo Cuban cuisine chef John Verlinden of Mucho Gusto shares some of their creative uses for this widely available fruit that can pull double-duty as a vegetable.
Missouri native John Verlinden began cooking at a young age, making noontime meals for his dad with the help of his mom's instructions. This lit a fire in John and he was off and running in a creative culinary direction. A love of Cuban food came by way of meals shared with the mother of John's partner. She generously shared her recipes and a few cooking secrets with John.
John's goal with Latin food has been to offer it in a lighter and healthier style yet preserving the same great flavors. Mucho Gusto, John's personal chef, party and meal planner business, offers the very best in Nuevo Cuban cuisine "with the unique flavors, vibrant soul and magic of Old World Cuba." His cookbook, To Cook is To Love is in pre-publication phase as of June 2010, but you can reserve signed copies now by visiting the Mucho Gusto website.