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Celebrating Hispanic Heritage

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage

Featuring Plantain Demo!

 

Hispanic Heritage Month has been observed by Spanish speaking countries from mid-September thru mid-October since 1986.  The celebration coincides with the independence anniversaries for several Latin American countries including Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua as well as Mexico and Chile.  While the same language links these countries together, their cultures, dialects and especially food are tremendously diverse. 

 

This month we celebrate Hispanic cuisine from Puerto Rico with a healthier version of the jibarito.  This sandwich features plantains which are a wonderfully versatile ingredient (think potatoes) and can be found throughout Hispanic cuisines. 

 

Typically, the jibarito is steak or pork sandwiched between crispy deep-fried plantain instead of bread.  We experimented with a healthier version by preparing plantains in the air fryer to get that signature crunch without all the added fat.  We also substituted pulled chicken for fattier meats and embrace the naturally sweet and delicious plantain as a gluten free alternative to bread!  Topped with a cool cabbage slaw, it’s delicious!  Check it out here:  Dole’s Smashed Plantain Chicken Sandwich.

 

The beauty of the plantain is that they are used throughout all stages of ripeness and for every meal occasion.  In the green state, plantains are quite firm and difficult to peel.  In this form they are similar to a potato or starch.  As they ripen, their starches convert to sugar and they become softer and sweeter – this is when the peels transform to black!  Unlike bananas however black peel plantains are not past their prime. You may be familiar with them as an ingredient in soups, desserts or fillings, but they are most often served as a side.  From mousse to chips to mash, visit dole.com for plantain recipe inspiration! 

 

Published October 1, 2021

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