When one mentions Haiti, immediately a picture is drawn into our mind of natural disasters and poverty. What we don’t know is that Haiti has more to that its rich in its culture. Haitian Culture is an eclectic mix of African and European elements.
In my French class we discussed about Haiti, and what’s talking about a rich culture without actually talking about its food. We embarked on a journey to find out about Haitian cuisine and what excites you. In the process of my research, something caught my attention. Banana Peze or as Tonstones.
Banana Peze or Tonstones:
Looks delicious right? Let me give you a little bit of history. Plantains are a staple in pretty much every Haitian meal. The most common method of cooking plantains is frying them which can be served as an appetizer or a side dish.
The recipe of Banana Peze or Tonstones:
Use only green, unripe plantains to cook this dish, because they have a higher content of starch.
- Green plantains peeled and sliced diagonally into 1-inch pieces.
- Cooking oil for deep frying.
- Heat about 1/2-inch of oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the plantain slices to the hot oil and fry, turning frequently, until they begin to brown on all sides. Remove to a paper-towel-lined plate and repeat with the remaining slices.
- When all the slices have been fried, use a glass or small plate to press each slice to a thickness of about 1/3-inch.
- Return half the flattened slices to the hot oil and fry again on each side until well browned and crispy. Drain on paper towels and repeat with the remaining flattened slices.
- Tostones Variations: Sometimes the plantains are soaked in salted water for about an hour and then dried well before sautéing. This is said to make them crispier and add flavor.
I had an amazing experience while shopping for the ingredients. First and foremost I couldn’t find plantains so I opted for unripe bananas. Unfortunately the banana Pere didn’t come out the right way. I then looked for plantains and it came out the right way.
What I have learnt is that I was so skeptical about trying out food especially from Haiti. After the experience of cooking and eating different food made by my fellow classmates and lecture I changed my mind. I might just be learning more and more Haitian Cuisine.
You can check out the recipe here.