Whether you call it the bodega, Papi store, 7-11, Wawa, Cumberland Farms, Turkey Hill, etc., BigBite is featuring those corner store snacks we grew up on and the ones we are growing up on now.
I find it amazing that I’ve been eating Chifles plantain chips for over 30 years! Aside from their gluten free tagline, Chifles packaging hasn’t changed much since the early 80’s ( like my baby face.) Pronounced chief-les, this family business has been around for almost 50 years. Potassium rich, containing vitamins A and C, these chips are a natural and healthier alternative to chemically enhanced potato chips and snacks. Chifles flavors include: salted, unsalted, garlic, spicy Caribbean, maduro (sweet,) or Mojo Mama seasonings.
The plantain is a member of the banana family, having a similar appearance, but is much larger, and can only be eaten when cooked. Chifles are a popular snack in Cuba, Peru and Ecuador, where street vendors offer bags of them to the passing cars. They are savory, more like potato chips than banana chips. Plantains become softer and sweeter as they ripen, and are best made while the fruit is still yellow and firm. The skin is removed, the plantain is sliced length-wise into strips, sticks or round, and fried in vegetable oil. The end result is a crisp, salty snack that I bet will go great in some chili or guac, and make you forget all about Her(r’s.)
For those that cannot find Chifles plantain chips in their corner store, BigBite has you covered with a recipe.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
2 green-yellow plantains
Vegetable oil for frying
Salt to taste
1. Cut off both ends of the plantains, and remove peel/skin. You may need to slice the peel open lengthwise with a knife. Work carefully because plantains can stain skin and clothes.
2. Slice plantains crosswise into very thin slices. about 1-2 mm. It’s fun to use a mandoline for this, but a sharp knife works great too.
3. Heat 1-2 inches of oil in a saucepan on medium-high heat.
4. When the oil is hot (about 360 degrees), fry several slices of plantain at a time until golden, 2-3 minutes.
5. Remove and drain on paper towels. Season with salt to taste.