Banana chips are 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 or spicy taste. Banana chips are commonly found in India, Philippines and Indonesia (as kripik). Variants of banana chips may be covered with chocolate instead. Banana chips are similar to chifle, usually made from firmer, starchier fruit varieties of the genus Musa commercially called plantains or "cooking bananas".
Fried banana chips are usually produced from under-ripe banana slices deep-fried in sunflower oil or coconut oil. These chips are dry (like potato chips) and can be salted, spiced, sugar coated or jaggery coated. Sometimes banana flavoring is added. If ripe bananas are used, they come out oily. They are used for desserts, not for dry chips.
Some varieties of banana chips can be produced using only food dehydration. Banana slices that are only dehydrated are not dark yellow and crunchy, but rather are brown, leathery and chewy. 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 plantain chips, usually made in the Indian states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, and known locally as nenthra-kaaya oopperi or upperi in Kerala, are fried in coconut oil. Both ripe and unripe plantains are used for this variant. Sometimes they are coated with masala or jaggery to form spicy and sweet variants. Almost plain banana and platain chips are called pachkkaya varuthathu and kaya upperi respectively; sweet jaggery-banana chips are called sharkara upperi. It is an integral part of the traditional Kerala meal called sadya served during weddings and traditional festivals such as Onam.
Banana is a native plant of Maritime Southeast Asia and the people of the archipelago has developed many uses of it for ages, including as a snack. In Indonesia, banana chip is called kripik pisang, and is considered as a variant of crispy kripik (traditional chip or crisp). Kripik pisang is a popular crispy snack and can be commonly found in Indonesia, although it seems to be more prevalent in Java and Sumatra. Usually unripe green bananas are thinly sliced, soaked in lime and salt water solution, and being deep fried as chips. Unripe banana is well suited for deep frying due to its low content of water and sugar, while having high starch content. Pisang goreng is another fried banana snack, although it is not thinly sliced and serves as a sweet hot snack.
The chips are often part of muesli and nut mixes. Other chips, such as patacones, are salty. 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. These deep-fried plantain chips are also quite popular in the southeastern part of Mexico, especially in the state of Tabasco.
- Apple chips
- Banana - In popular culture and commerce, "banana" usually refers to soft, sweet "dessert" Musa cultivars.
- Banana powder
- 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 deep fried foods
- List of dried foods
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