Going to the fruit section of a supermarket can be an ordeal if we don’t know how to differentiate between the different types of bananas. They come in different colors and sizes, although it is very important to identify the male banana.
Although it is also one more species of this fruit and it seems better because of its large size, the truth is that it differs a lot from a common plantain or banana. We must bear in mind that in the less ripe versions of this fruit, the predominant color is green, although the male draws attention for having that color in the most delicious stage.
Like bananas, the males are native to Southeast Asia. However, they are now cultivated all over the world, including in India, Egypt, Indonesia, and the tropical regions of America such as southern Mexico, Ecuador, Brazil, Costa Rica, etc.
In Spain and other countries, the banana is the variety of this fruit that can be consumed raw. Medium in size, sweet flavor, and yellow in color when ripe, it is one of the most popular fruits worldwide that we enjoy thanks to the Canary Islands. However, in other countries, this fruit is known as the largest variety, that is, the “male banana”. It has a green color before ripening and yellow with brown or black at its best, this fruit cannot be eaten raw.
The male plantain is better to cook it
When consumed raw, its taste is very bitter. In fact, it is indigestible. However, when cooked it obtains a sweet flavor, with a smooth texture. Plantains are most common in Latin, Caribbean, and African cuisines. They are starchy and tough when raw, with a much thicker skin than ordinary bananas. They are more similar to a vegetable than a fruit in terms of culinary applications. Because they have less sugar than bananas, they are commonly used as a savory garnish or as part of a main dish.
Like bananas, they start out green and progress to a dark brown color as they ripen. The darker they are, the sweeter they will be. These can be eaten at any stage of the ripening process, but we will need a knife to peel them. They are typically sliced, fried, and eaten as a fritter called patacones, a popular dish in Latin American and Caribbean cuisine. If they are sliced very thinly before frying, they can be eaten more like chips.
Which one is healthier?
Neither the plantain nor the male plantain are nutritionally superior to the other, since both are very healthy and rich in nutrients. However, cooking methods can affect the nutritional content of these fruits, making them more or less healthy. This has less to do with the fruit itself, more to do with what we are adding to it.
If we are concerned about blood sugar control, we will want to control the portions of both foods because they contain carbohydrates that can increase blood sugar. However, keep in mind that both common and male are whole foods that contain fiber. This can help reduce blood sugar spikes in some people, especially compared to more refined processed foods that do not contain fiber.