After moving to Astoria from a small New England town, plantains were one of my first international ingredients to learn about. Not to be eaten raw like a banana, they are quite a versatile and filling ingredient which you can fry, boil or bake. In their green unripened state plantains take on a more starchy, savory flavor you will find in many African dishes and a Latin American snack called tostones. As plantains ripen, they change from green to yellow to black and become quite sweet in the process. For preparing them sweet I recommend a mostly black color with a hint of yellow.
Fried plantains in any form provide a more filling “chip” for dipping. Get creative and use them with different varieties of salsas and guacamole in place of the typical tortilla chips. Many stores sell plantain chips, but they tend to be salty and really thin, so they break more easily. Making them at home gives you all the culinary control you may want.