Banana Republic

Ecuador well could be subtitled “Banana Republic”, since it constitutes not only the daily diet of its inhabitants but also the second biggest source of exportation income in the Country after raw petrol. In fact, bananas are known as “the green gold”, becoming the better edible gold in history.

Like the snow for eskimos, for Ecuadorians there are many different kinds of bananas, being the most common the green one, the ripe one and the banano. The green one (plantain) is used to make empanadas and also fried. When it ripens it’s called “maduro” (ripe), and its flavor is sweeter and more tender. Finally the banano is the one you eat raw and which we are more used to. Some other types you might find bananas in are:

 

Chifles

Some kind of banana chips, usually salty. They use the green plantain to make them.

 

Patacones

Some sort of smashed fried bananas, also made from green plantain.

How to make Patacones

1. Peel the green bananas, better with bags on your hands because they release lots of sage.
2. Cut each one in three and deep fry.
3. When they are golden, remove from the pan and smash.
4. Put back in the pan until they crisp up.

 

Bolones

Bolones de verde can be found mainly around the coast line, and can be filled with different ingredients. I’ll leave you with this recipe which is too well explained to even try to improve it in the Recetas de Lalyta