What is the difference between plantain and banana?

Plantain Vs Banana

Both the banana and the plantain are fruits that have a high nutritional content and are very similar in terms of their shape, size and flavor. However, these differ from each other depending on their origin and location, so in this article we are going to point out the differences that exist between plantains and bananas, first briefly presenting their characteristics.

What is the difference between plantain and banana

Difference between plantain and banana in tabular form

Comparison table

Name according to its geographical location In Mexico, Spain and other countries, the banana is the variety of this fruit that can be consumed raw. Medium in size, sweet flavor, and yellow when ripe, it is one of the most popular fruits worldwide. In some other countries, on the other hand, banana is the largest variety of this fruit, that is, the “macho banana”. Green before ripe and yellow with brown or black at its best, this fruit cannot be eaten raw. In some Central and South American countries (Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Honduras, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and the Dominican Republic) the fruit covered with a green peel when the fruit is immature and yellow when ripe is known as banana. Its pulp is white. Its shape is cylindrical. The banana is a fruit rich in starch and sweet in taste. It is usually eaten raw.
Other names In Mexico, the largest banana variety is known as “macho banana”. In South America it is called “big banana” or “banana for stewing”. It is also known as “hartón banana” or “green banana”. In addition to banana, plantain is also known as “guineo” in Ecuador and “cambur” in Venezuela.
Physical appearance The male plantain is much larger than the common plantain or banana. Its initial color is green, but as it matures it turns yellow with several black and brown spots or scratches. Its skin or peel is much thicker than that of the common banana. The banana or plantain is green before ripening. Once ripe it turns yellow. It usually measures an average of between 15 and 20 centimeters.
Flavor When consumed raw, its taste is very bitter. In fact, the plantain is not digestible. However, when cooked it obtains a sweet flavor, with a smooth texture. Its flavor when the fruit has ripened is sweet. It is usually astringent, sometimes dry and even rubbery or chewy in texture.
Consumption Cooked, fried, grilled or pureed, never raw. It is used in prepared foods such as rice. Also as a dessert or snack if it is fried. Raw, although it can be baked in a pancake or bread. It is used in desserts or as a snack.
Producing countries It is mainly produced in tropical countries, such as southern Mexico, Ecuador, Brazil, Costa Rica, etc. Uganda, Ecuador, the Philippines, Brazil and India lead the world in plantain or banana production.
Nutritional content The plantain is an excellent source of starch and fiber. Contains no fat or protein. It also has a high energy content. The banana is considered a very nutritious food. This is because it is an important source of potassium, magnesium and iron. It also provides vitamin C, folic acid, vitamin E and a lot of fiber.

What is Plantain?

It is part of the genus as Musa balbisiana, belongs to the plants of the Musaceae family. The banana plant is a large, perennial plant that lacks a trunk as such, but instead has foliar sheaths that form non-woody pseudostems. They reach up to 7 meters high. Bananas have a green color because they are unripe.

They can be eaten as tostones or boiled in soups. Ripe they have a yellow or yellow color with black spots, they have a sweet flavor, a soft texture and something sticky. It is usually consumed fried, in cakes, as an ingredient in other dishes. On the plant the fruit looks like a false linear berry between 7 and 15 cm long and up to 4 cm in diameter. In the pulp are some small seeds.

Read: Difference Between Monocots and Dicots 

 What is Banana?

They also receive the name of plantain, cambur or banana. There are many varieties, some are large, others are small and sweet, some are very aromatic and others have a green skin even when ripe.

Bananas come from an herb that generates non-woody vertical pseudostems, in which rhizomes develop that give rise to other plants and fruits. They are usually consumed without any preparation, as fruits, in fruit salads, smoothies, purees, desserts and others.

Read: Food and Nutrition Definition With Difference

Some examples of the consumption of the banana or plantain are:

  • about the grain
  • On French bread, hot cakes and waffles
  • As the main ingredient of pancakes or muffins, even cakes or pies
  • For dessert: in Mexico it is eaten with cream and sugar: bananas with cream.
  • In smoothies (shakes), shakes or milkshakes, etc.

On the other hand, the plantain, which in countries like Venezuela is simply called plantain, is the variety of this fruit that should not be eaten raw. Although some people get used to it, in general it is not usually pleasant to the taste, since it is astringent, rubbery and dry. This type of banana is used as an ingredient in cooked dishes. Sometimes it is consumed for breakfast, although it is usually used in main dishes. When fried, it can be eaten as a dessert.

The male banana is also known as green banana or hartón. Some examples of dishes that include this fruit among its main ingredients are:

  • Banana lasagna (the pasta sheets are replaced by slices of male plantain)
  • Canoas (canoas made of fried plantains and stuffed with any sweet or salty ingredient)
  • Aborrajados de Maduro (Colombian dish)
  • Cuban rice with banana

Key differences between plantain and banana

  • In Spain, the fruits that are known as bananas or cambures in some Latin American countries are known as bananas.
  • Plantains are consumed cooked, bananas are not.

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