Plantains look like bananas but that’s where the similarity ends. They tend to be firmer and lower in sugar content and, unlike bananas, plantains usually require cooking. A staple food in tropical regions of the world, plantains are similar in texture and flavor to a potato and are cooked, boiled or fried as such. The taste of a plantain is different at every stage of ripeness and only experimentation will tell you which is best for you. Store plantains uncovered at room temperature. Turn occasionally. To prepare for frying, peel and remove fibrous strings. Simply pierce with a fork in several places when baking.