Plantains are a variation of bananas with longer with thicker skin. Unlike bananas, they are mostly for cooking. They have a sweet, starchy flavor.
The ripest bananas have a yellowish rind and some spotting. Expect more brown spots than on Cavendish bananas. They should be firm and have no bruising. Plantains get sweeter as they ripen. You can store them at room temperature on your countertop.
If cooking without the peel, you may need to open lengthwise with a knife before slicing. Slice thinly to make chips. When you cook the flesh, it will caramelize into a golden color. You can grind them into flour, or “banana meal,” for all kinds of dishes.