|This article relies largely or entirely upon a single source. (January 2011)|
Banana chips are deep-fried and/or dried slices of bananas (fruits of herbaceous plants of the genus Musa of the soft, sweet "dessert banana" variety). They can be covered with sugar or honey and have a sweet taste, or they can be fried in oil and spices and have a salty and/or spicy taste. Banana chips are commonly found in Indonesia (as kripik) and India. Variants of banana chips may be covered with chocolate instead. Banana chips are not to be confused with chifle, made from firmer, starchier fruit varieties of the genus Musa commercially called plantains or "cooking bananas".
Usually, the chips are produced from under ripe bananas, of which slices are deep-fried in sunflower oil or coconut oil, which are dry (like potato chips), which can be salted, spiced,sugar coated or jaggery coated. If ripe bananas are used they come out oily.They are used for deserts, not for dry chips.
Raw bananas can be used for finger chips too. Plantains give tastier chips.
Some varieties of banana chips can be produced using only food dehydration. Banana slices that are only dehydrated are not light brown and leathery, but rather are dark yellow and crunchy. They are very sweet and have an intense banana flavor. These are ideally made from bananas that are fully ripe.
Another kind is made by baking in an oven, although this process may not result in the same intense banana flavor.
Uses and variations
Fried banana chips, usually made in the Indian state of Kerala, and known locally as nenthra-kaaya oopperi or upperi, is fried in coconut oil. Both ripe and unripe bananas are used for this variant. Sometimes they are coated with masala or jaggery to form spicy and sweet variants respectively. It is an integral part of the traditional Kerala meal called sadya served during weddings and traditional festivals such as Onam.
Similar chips called chifle are made from plantains, the family of fruit that bananas come from. (In tropical Latin American cultures, all bananas are considered plantains, but not all plantains are bananas.) Bananas are the small sweet fruits and plantains are the large fruits. These deep-fried plantain chips are also quite popular in the southeastern part of Mexico, especially in the state of Tabasco, where the company Charricos produces and commercializes an assortment of sweet, salty and spicy plantain snacks.
- Banana - In popular culture and commerce, "banana" usually refers to soft, sweet "dessert" Musa cultivars.
- Chifle - a similar salty snack chip made from plantains.
- Plantain - Musa cultivars with firmer, starchier fruit
- Tostones - a similar salty snack made from plantains.
- Kripik - Indonesian chips, kripik pisang is Indonesian banana chips
- List of dried foods
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- "Banana Chips from Kerala, india". The Hindu. Retrieved 2013-04-13.
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