Colombians know how to use their bananas! Sweet or not, big or small, they use them in a hundred different ways! Personally, I shamefully admit I had no idea how useful bananas are!

Some expats and tourists make light of the omnipresent banana in Colombian meals, and at times don’t know what to do with them! For instance, a delicious sancocho or ajiaco might have a sweet peeled banana on a side plate with a ball of rice and avocado, etc. Throw it into the soup or eat it separately? (eat it separately, silly!)

Bananas grow everywhere just about in this country where it’s warm and wet. Look by the side of any road and you’ll likely see bananas growing wild. There’s a wide variety of banana species but let’s not get all scientific with this! Colombians use platanos (plantains), bananos (mainly the familiar Cavendish) and guineos, which are small bananas.

Some delights made from one type of banana or other:

  • Patacones – flattened plantains usually as a side, as is or with hogao (sorta like pico de gallo)
  • Sopa de patacon – the aforementioned patacones in a soup – amazingly good! Bananas in soup? Who knew?!
  • Sopa de guineo – Soup with slices of incredibly delicious guineo bananas cooked in.
  • Aborrajado (photo) – a popular pastry made with sweet plantain and filled with melted cheese (another Colombian culinary obsession!)
  • Tajada de maduro: A slice of gooey sweet plantain that can accompany just about any meal.

Then there’s the ubiquitous packaged sweet and plain plantain chips which everybody snacks on, just like you would on potato chips.

– La Banana! (Quote from Minions)

Feel free to tell us about your own fav Colombanana treat!

Note: This is not about bananas vs plantains!! The latter is correctly referred to as a cooking banana, and they’re all from the same genus.