Posts by

MIC Food

Is the Plantain a Fruit or Vegetable?

For many, the first exposure to a plantain is in the produce section of their local grocery store when they see a funny-looking banana. Upon further examination, it becomes clear that this “banana” seems larger, has a thicker skin, and unlike the smooth, yellow bananas typically found in grocery stores, these larger plantains are available in a range of colors as they ripen, from green to yellow to mostly black. It is clearly related to the banana, but if it isn’t a banana, then what is it? Is it even a fruit?

According to Fruits and Veggies- More Matters—a health initiative spearheaded by the Produce for Better Health Foundation in conjunction with the Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)—the plantain is actually a…fruit!

Read More

Plantain 101: What Is A Plantain?

At first sight, it’s easy to mistake a plantain for a banana. There are several different varieties of banana-like foods, which are all part of the same family, but taste very different from each other.

Plantain trees grow best in moisture-rich, tropical climates and since they don’t have a growing season they are available year-round. This makes them a very valuable, reliable food source in countries across the globe from Central and South America to the Caribbean, Africa, and Southeast Asia. Plantains are part of the Musa paradisiaca family.

So is The Plantain A Fruit or a Vegetable? According to Fruit and Veggies - More Matters, the plantain is actually. . . a fruit! Similar to the tomato, which is a fruit consumed as a vegetable, the plantain is also consumed as a vegetable.

Read More

Boniato 101: What is Boniato?

Boniato, botanically classified as Ipomoea batatas, is a nutty-flavored root vegetable in the same family as sweet potatoes. Boniato has many names, such as batata, camote, kamura, yellow sweet potato, and even the Cuban Sweet Potato.

Read More

Malanga 101: What is Malanga?

Malanga, also known as yautía or cocoyam, is a starchy root vegetable that is commonly used in South American, African, and Caribbean cuisine. Malanga has a rough, hairy outer skin, with a crisp, white or pink flesh. Once prepared, Malanga’s earthy flavor can be likened to that of a nut, versus the mild flavor of a potato or yam. The taste is unlike most tubers or roots, but its texture is similar to that of a yuca, which makes Malanga versatile enough to be prepared using a variety of cooking methods, such as baked, mashed, boiled, or fried.


Read More

Yuca 101: What Is Yuca?


Yuca, commonly known as cassava or manioc (not to be confused with yucca), is one of the world’s most versatile vegetables. Use it fried, boiled, or mashed, yuca is a nutty-flavored starch tuber native to South America that is also found in Asia and parts of Africa. Together with other tropical root vegetables like yam, taro, and, most notably, the potato, it is an indispensable part of the carbohydrate diet for many.


Yuca is a major source of calories in the tropics and is considered a main food staple for millions. Because it is so drought-tolerant, it's become a popular crop to harvest in marginal countries that lack soil.


Read More

Step Aside Potato Fries, Here Come Yuca Fries

There’s a new root vegetable in town, and like potatoes, it offers endless possibilities. Fried or baked, mashed or boiled…no matter how it’s prepared, yuca is a delicious and welcomed alternative to potatoes and with the added appeal of tropical nutriment and taste, this versatile vegetable is simply irresistible.

Read More

MAPP Conference Recap (Miami 2023)

Center Stage is a program put on by Chef’s Roll to discover and bring light to up-and-coming female chefs. After submitting a dish inspired by a female figure, 30 participants advanced to Round 2, where they would create a “Family Meal” for their team.

Read More