>Saging na Saba (plantain to you)


It is rare that I find this type of banana in the local markets, I looked up the English translation and it says plantain.  But plantain looks different, this variety has corners sweet with a bit of a tang when ripe. It can be prepared in different ways, it is edible uncooked but we hardly eat it that way. It can be grilled skin off, baked, sweetened and eaten with crushed ice and milk, fried with batter, deep fried in sugar, wrapped in lumpia wrapper with jack fruit and fried, or boiled in this case.  Oh, there are also a hundred and one options for the green- not ripe ones. The easiest of which is to let it ripen to a soft state and put it in a pot of water let it boil to maybe 15 minutes and voila breakfast is ready.  I put a little butter and sugar for the kill, otherwise it can be eaten as is.
Yummy bananas prepared Filipino Style
Yummy bananas prepared Filipino Style
Banana Factoids:

Here are some images from Google.  Did you know that banana is a member of the palm family, once it has bore fruit, at least this variety, then it has reached it’s full lifecycle and it will dry and die. But before that happens it would have multiplied and created havoc on the area.  The leaves can be harvested to a degree even before it has reached it’s full cycle and can be used for wrapped rice, another Asian delicacy, or fish, it enhances the flavor and allows tiny ingredients to be cooked together without crushing it. Oh, as the tree or the palm matures, the blossom where the fruits develop has the shape of a heart, literally called, heart of banana, duh, this is harvested once the fruits have developed.  It is said that if it is not removed, the banans will not grow fully. That heart is also edible and is cooked with either coconut milk or vinegar. The whole bunch of fruits is harvested green, letting it ripen on the tree will invite insects, birds, and other critters.  The stalk of the leaves can be used to as a base for cooking if you want to simmer fish and don’t want it to stick on the pot. In some cultures it is also cooked in coconut milk. Nope, it’s not over, once the fruit has been harvested, the trunk of the palm has a core that is soft and is also edible, as a salad, sauteed or cooked in coconut milk.  Wow, I just realized that having a banana tree must be good for this economy, it is not just decorative as I see around the neighborhood.

Other traditional uses of banana leaves, let it pass through heat on a stove cut it into circles and you have liners for your serving dishes or picnic plate holders, that’s really being green. Before the advent of teflon on flat irons, they used the banana leaves a stand for flat irons that way it wouldn’t stick.

This plant is good for those with a sore green thumb, as it does not need caring for, it is a survivor :), it does not even need watering. Dried leaves need to be removed periodically and the buds replanted for aesthetic reasons.

Have a banana, it will drive the zits away.

One thought on “>Saging na Saba (plantain to you)

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