Jamaican Plantain And Jamaican Plantain Recipes.
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Jamaican Plantain As A Jamaican Food Recipe

Jamaican Plantain - How To Use The Food

Jamaican plantains are hard, starchy bananas used for cooking, as contrasted with the soft, sweet dessert varieties. Jamaican plantains are a staple food in the tropical regions of the world, treated in much the same way as potatoes and with a similar neutral flavor and texture when unripe. They are grown as far north as Florida, the Canary Islands, Madeira, Egypt, and southern Japan or Taiwan and as far south as KwaZulu-Natal and southern Brazil. It is unknown whether Jamaican plantains were grown in the Americas before the arrival of Europeans. Ripe Jamaican plantains can be eaten raw, or they can be used for cooking at any stage of ripeness. Green Jamaican plantains are firm and starchy and resemble potatoes in flavour. Yellow Jamaican plantains are still firm and starchy but slightly sweeter. Extremely ripe Jamaican plantains are black, with a softer, deep yellow pulp that is much sweeter than the earlier stages of ripeness. These black Jamaican plantains can be used in sweet dishes. Steam cooked Jamaican plantains are considered a nutritious food for infants and the elderly.

Jamaican plantains are also dried and ground into flour; banana meal forms an important foodstuff, with the following constituents: water 10.62, albuminoids 3.55, fat 1.15, carbohydrates 81.67 (more than 2/3 starch), fibre 1.15, phosphates 0.26, other salts, 1.60. The sugar is chiefly sucrose. Jamaican plantain fruit can be brewed into an alcoholic drink. The rootstock which bears the Jamaican plantain leaves is soft and full of starch just before the Jamaican plantain flowering period, and the Jamaican plantain is sometimes used as food in Ethiopia; the young shoots of several species are cooked and eaten. After removing skin unripe Jamaican plantain fruit can be sliced (1 or 2 mm thick) and fried in boiling oil, to produce chips. This preparation of Jamaican plantain is also known as 'tostones' in some South American countries. Chips fried in Coconut oil and sprinkled with salt is an important item in sadhya (a vegetarian feast) in the state of Kerala in India. The chips are typically labeled 'Jamaican plantain Chips' if they are made of green Jamaican plantains that taste starchy like potato chips. If the chips are made from sweeter Jamaican plantain fruit, they are called 'Banana Chips'.

After removing the Jamaican plantain skin, the ripened Jamaican plantain fruit can be sliced (3-4 cm thick) and pan fried in Jamaican plantain oil and sprinkled with salt to produce Maduros. Maduros are a delicacy in Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Jamaican plantain will Jamaican plantain flower only once, and all the Jamaican plantain flowers grow at the end of its shoot in separate bunches. Only the first few bunches will become Jamaican plantain fruits. Those that do not Jamaican plantain fruit are used for cooking, often chopped and fried with masala powder. Traditionally Jamaican plantain leaves are used like plates while serving South Indian Thali or during sadhya. They are also used to stimulate appetite as a fragrant smell is given off when hot food is placed on top of the Jamaican plantain leaf.

The Jamaican plantain will only bear Jamaican plantain fruit once. After harvesting the Jamaican plantain fruit, the Jamaican plantain plant can be cut and the layers peeled (like an onion) to get a cylinder shaped soft shoot. This can be chopped and first steamed, then fried with masala powder, to make a excellent dish. Tostones are twice-fried Jamaican plantain patties. Jamaican plantains are sliced in 4-cm (1.5-in) long pieces and fried in oil. The segments are then removed and individually smashed down either by hand or with a tostonera to about half their original height. Finally, the pieces are fried again and then seasoned to taste, often with salt. In some South American countries, the name 'tostones' is used to describe this food when prepared at home and also Jamaican plantain chips (mentioned above), which are typically purchased from a store. The tropical Jamaican plantain fruit known as Jamaican plantain belongs to the genus Musa, which contains about forty species, widely distributed throughout the tropics of the Old World and in some cases introduced into the New World. The great use of the family resides in the use of the unripe Jamaican plantain fruits as food and to a much less extent in that of the ripe Jamaican plantain fruit - Bananas. In many parts of the tropics they are as important to the inhabitants as are the grain plants to those living in cooler regions. The northern limit of their cultivation is reached in Florida, the Canary Islands, Egypt and Southern Japan, and the southern limit in Natal and South Brazil. There has been considerable discussion as to whether they were growing in America before the discovery of the New World. The unripe Jamaican plantain fruit is rich in starch, which on ripening turns into sugar.

The most generally used Jamaican plantain fruits are derived from Musa paradisiaca, of which an enormous number of varieties and forms exist in cultivation. The sub-species, sapientum, formerly regarded as a distinct species (M. sapientum), is the source of the Jamaican plantain fruits generally known in England as Bananas and eaten raw, while the name Jamaican plantain is given to forms of the species itself which require cooking. The species is probably a native of India and Southern Asia. Other species are M. acuminata in the Malay Archipelago, M. Fehi, in Tahiti, and M. Cavendishii, the so-called Chinese Banana, which has a thinner rind and is found in cooler countries. Jamaican plantains often reach a considerable size. The hardly-ripe Jamaican plantain fruit is eaten (whole or cut into slices) roasted, baked, boiled, fried, as an ingredient of soups and stews, and in general as potatoes are used, possessing, like the potato, only a slight or negative flavor and no sweetness. They are also dried and ground into flour as meal, Banana meal forming an important food-stuff, to which the following constituents have been assigned: Water 10.62, albuminoids 3.55, fat 1.15, carbohydrates 81.67 (more than 2/3 starch), fiber 1.15, phosphates 0.26, other salts, 1.60. The sugar is chiefly cane-sugar.

In East Africa and elsewhere an intoxicating drink is prepared from the Jamaican plantain fruit. The rootstock which bears the Jamaican plantain leaves is, just before the Jamaican plantain flowering period, soft and full of starch, and is sometimes used as food in Abyssinia, and the young shoots of several species are cooked and eaten. The Jamaican plantain leaves cut into strips are plaited to form mats and bags; they are also largely used for packing and the finer ones for cigarette papers. The mature Jamaican plantain leaves of several species yield a valuable fiber, the best of which is 'Manila hemp.' The Banana family is of more interest for its nutrient than for its medicinal properties. Banana root has some employment as an anthelmintic and has been reported useful in reducing bronchocele. The use of Jamaican plantain juice as an antidote for snake-bite in the East has been reported in recent years by the Lancet, an alleged cure at Colombo (reported in the Lancet, April 1, 1916), and again, in the same year, at Serampore:

A servant of the Principal of the Government Weaving College was bitten by a venomous snake in the foot. The Principal applied a ligature eight inches above the bitten part and then cut the Jamaican plantain with a lancet and applied permanganate of potash, making the wound bleed freely. He then extracted some juice from a Jamaican plantain tree and gave the patient about a cupful to drink. After drinking the Jamaican plantain juice the man seemed to recover a little, and the wound was washed. He was made to walk up and down, and in the morning, when the ligature was removed, the man was declared cured. The bastard Jamaican plantain belongs to a genus containing thirty species, natives of tropical America. Although the Jamaican plantain belongs to the same order as the Banana, and has very large Jamaican plantain leaves, 6 to 8 feet long and 18 inches wide, the Jamaican plantain has quite different Jamaican plantain fruit, namely, small succulent berries, each containing three hard, rugged Jamaican plantain seeds, and is not employed economically. Jamaican plantain is the general name for several small herbs used medicinally because of their mucilaginous properties. Spanish Jamaican plantain or fleawort, Jamaican plantain psyillium; Indian or blood Jamaican plantain, Jamaican plantain ovata Forsk; common Jamaican plantain, Jamaican plantain major L.; and narrow-leaved Jamaican plantain, Jamaican plantain lanceolata L., are representatives of the species. Spanish Jamaican plantain, an annual native to the eastern Mediterranean region and naturalized in the eastern United States, is about 0.6 meters tall with hairy Jamaican plantain leaves, a dense spike of Jamaican plantain flowers, and a dehiscent Jamaican plantain seed capsule. Common Jamaican plantain and narrow-leaved Jamaican plantain are perennial low-growing herbs.

Indian Jamaican plantain, Spanish Jamaican plantain, and black Jamaican plantain, are cultivated in India, the United States, France, and Spain. Little cultural information on Jamaican plantain exists, although planting takes place in the southwestern United States during mid-autumn. Jamaican plantain grows as a weed in most places. Jamaican plantain seed gum, a natural gum or mucilage, is extracted from the Jamaican plantain seed coat and husk with hot water and used as a bulk laxative or purgative. The material hydrates slowly with the addition of water forming a viscous mass. Some Jamaican plantain species are not suitable for the extraction of mucilage because of anatomical differences within the Jamaican plantain seed.

The plant has been traditionally used as a remedy against insect bites, toothaches, fevers, ulcers, and wounds. Other medicinal applications of the Jamaican plantain species have included use as an astringent, demulcent, and diuretic. Extracts of common Jamaican plantain have been reported to exhibit antibacterial activity. Jamaican plantain species have also been used in the treatment of cancer. The plant may be an aeroallergen, causing rhinitis or hay fever. Hoary Jamaican plantain is a perennial used as a natural laxative
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