Ultimate Guide to Plantains – Taste, Look, Smell & Pairing!


Are you wondering what plantains are? What do they taste like? And what to eat them with? You have landed in the right place! In this article, we will answer all of your burning plantain questions!

Plantain Flavor Profile!

Plantains look just like bananas but do they have the same flavor as their cousins? Let’s find out!

What do plantains taste like? Plantains may look like bananas but they are not sweet. Plantains are very starchy like potatoes and unlike other fruits can not be eaten raw. Once they are cooked they taste similar to yams or sweet potatoes with a slight banana taste.

If you were hoping to tuck into a sweet fruit then put down that plantain right now! Plantains do not have a lovely sweet flavor like bananas. Plantains have a very potato-esque flavor and texture. Even though this fruit grows on trees it closely resembles root vegetables like yams and sweet potatoes. Another interesting thing about plantains is that you can’t just pick them off the tree, peel them and start munching on them. This fruit needs to be cooked, with most people preferring to fry them. Plantains have an overwhelming savory taste which is very strange for a fruit.

Do bananas and plantains taste the same? Bananas and plantains do not have a similar taste. Bananas are soft with a very sweet flavor and can be eaten raw. While plantains have a starchy texture and have a similar flavor to yams. Plantains also must be cooked before eating. 

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While bananas and plantains look similar, that is where the comparison stops! Plantains are not sweet at all. And don’t think about grabbing one off a tree and having a quick snack, because before you can eat plantains they must be cooked! In contrast, bananas have a soft mushy texture and are incredibly sweet.

How would you describe the taste of plantain? Plantains have a unique starchy flavor that is most similar to yams but slightly sweeter. Plantains are like a mix between a banana and a potato. This distinct fruit is very savory but still has elements of sweetness that reveal its fruit nature.

What is sweeter plantain or banana? A banana is much sweeter than a plantain. Bananas have more than 2 times the amount of sugar of plantains, this is why plantains have a savory and starchy taste while bananas are very sweet and are a great addition to dessert.

Plantains and bananas are not in the same league when it comes to sweetness. Bananas are almost too sweet and are at home on the dessert table. While plantains only have a very mild sweet taste and have a savory flavor. Plantains are more similar to potatoes in terms of sweetness than bananas.

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Is A Plantain A Fruit or Vegetable?

Plantains look very similar to bananas but does it automatically make them a fruit? Or does their savory flavor make them a vegetable? Time to answer one of the world’s most pressing questions!

Is plantain a fruit or vegetable? Plantains are in fact a fruit. Plantains grow on trees just like bananas and have seeds. The edible flesh of the plantain is the plant’s ovary (scientifically a fruit is a plant’s ovary). However, even though plantains are technically fruit they taste more like a vegetable and need to be cooked.

The classic definition of a fruit is that it is a plant’s ovary that contains seeds. Plantains fit this definition and therefore are 100% fruit. Plantains also grow on trees. The only confusion comes because of the plantain’s taste which is savory.

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Most people associate fruit with a sweet flavor, but there is no law that states that all fruits must be sweet. Plantains could be classified as avocados and tomatoes, where even though they are technically fruits they are treated as vegetables because they aren’t sweet and are traditionally paired with other savory foods.

Do plantains count as vegetables? Plantains are fruits because they are the ovary of the plant, contain seeds, and grow on trees. Despite the fact that plantains are fruit due to their savory taste people count them as vegetables like other savory fruits like tomatoes and avocados.

Plantains are without a doubt a fruit. However, plantains are better paired with savory dishes due to their potato-esque flavor. Due to this, many view this starchy fruit as a vegetable just like people do with tomatoes. This is because most people assume all fruits are sweet.

What food group is plantain? Plantains belong to the starchy fruit food group. They are also a part of the banana family aka genus Musa.

Even though plantains are very starchy you can’t go pairing them with yams and potatoes. Plantains are still a fruit and type of banana. The most accurate description of plantains is a starchy fruit and member of the genus Musa family.

Is plantain a starch or vegetable? Plantain is considered a starchy fruit because it grows on trees, contains seeds, and is the ovary of the plant. Even though it is not sweet and needs to be cooked before eating it is not considered a vegetable.

We don’t blame you if you go around calling a plantain a vegetable. It is more similar to a sweet potato than a banana. However, if you want to get all technical it is a starchy fruit and a specific type of nonsweet banana.

Is plantain a root vegetable? Even though plantains share a lot of similarities with root vegetables like yams and potatoes they are a fruit. Root vegetables grow underground while plantains grow on trees and have seeds.

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The flavor profile of plantains is similar to root vegetables, particularly yams. Plantains are also very high in starch like root vegetables. However, plantains are not root vegetables because they grow on trees while root vegetables are grown in the dirt!

What Does Plantain Smell Like?

Plantains look like strange bananas but do they have the same aroma or do they smell completely different? Find out now!

What does plantain smell like? Plantains have a very mild smell. If plantain is not ripe you are unlikely to smell anything. Once the fruit ripens they start to smell like bananas but with a less sweet and powerful aroma.

You won’t find people sniffing plantains at your local supermarket or fruit shop. This is because plantains don’t have a strong aroma. When plantains become very ripe they start smelling like bananas but with a less powerful sweet smell.

As plantains don’t have much of a smell you need to feel them when choosing your perfect fruit. The best plantains are quite firm but still have a little give when you squeeze them. You should avoid plantains that are very firm and ones that are mushy.

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How To Eat Plantain?

To enjoy the amazing taste of plantain you need to cook it. Check out these amazing recipes to ensure your plantain tasting experience is incredible!

How to eat plantain? Plantains taste best when they are fried! When you caramelize the edges they taste incredible. You can also bake them in olive oil and serve them with a dipping sauce.

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How To Make Fried Plantains?

Try out this simple and super yummy plantain recipe. You need:

  • 2 ripe plantains
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons oil
  • Sea salt

Then all you have to do is:

  1. Start by removing the skins, be careful not to damage your precious plantains! Then cut them into 1/4 to 1/3 inch strips.
  2. Drizzle olive oil on the pan
  3. Add plantains to pan and fry on each side for 1 min
  4. Remove plantains from the pan and drain on paper towels

How to Make Baked Plantains?

Baked plantains taste amazing and are super easy to make! You need:

  • Ripe plantains
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt

Then all you have to do is:

  1. Start by removing the skins, be careful not to damage your precious plantains! Then cut them into 1/4 to 1/3 inch strips.
  2. Drizzle olive oil over your plantains and add a touch of salt
  3. Last but not least, bake the plantains in a preheated 425-degree oven. The high temperature will leave your plantains super crispy around the edges!

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Wrapping Up

Plantains taste very starchy and only have a very mild sweetness. They are much more similar to yams and sweet potatoes than bananas. Due to the savory taste, many people classify plantains as vegetables but they are in fact fruits because they are the ovary of the plant and contain seeds. If you want to truly enjoy plantains we recommend baking them with olive oil!

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