Most farms and quintas grow at least a few plantain trees, their gigantic green leaves and spectacular flowers making sure you don't forget this is the tropics. Plantain and banana trees flourish during our rainy season, and continue to produce fruit throughout the dry times. Every year new trees are planted amongst our coffee bushes to provide shade, guaranteeing me a constant supply of plantains in the kitchen.
Platanos require cooking in order to be palatable, and their form and flavor vary greatly depending on when and how they are cooked. Green unripe platanos are frequently fried up as a side dish, sliced in rounds or in the case of tajadas, in long thin strips. In the latter, plantains serve kind of as nachos, topped with meat or cheese or anything you want. As I inherited a local mandoline slicer over a year ago and have never used it, I decided it was time:
Here I am frying them up in a generous pool of sunflower oil.
The ideal tajada is thin and crispy like a potato chip. After a few batches, I got the hang of it!