3 ways of eating Patacones

3 ways of eating Patacones

Patacones are a wonderful counterpoint to the cool fresh citrus taste of ceviche. … A patacón heaped high with other delights is a hearty meal in itself.

As simple as they are, there are things many people don’t know about this ubiquitous dish. There is more to patacones than meets the eye:

  1. The name patacón comes from various Colonial Era Spanish and Portuguese silver coins. In an ironic double-back, tostón, a name applied to patacones in some other countries, has been used as slang for a Mexican fifty-cent piece.
  1. Plantains belong to the banana family. At first, many people from northern climes mistake them for large bananas. They are native to India and are popular today in the tropical areas of Africa, the Caribbean, and Latin America. They have been grown in subtropical Florida, but they do not play well with frost.
  1. In Costa Rica, patacones are usually pressed into disks several inches across and served with ground beans or chimichurri (the tomato, onion, and cilantro mix). They are also commonly served as accompaniments to other dishes. Warm, chewy patacones are a wonderful counterpoint to the cool fresh citrus taste of ceviche. They are almost always cooked to order, so you may have to wait a little longer for your ceviche—well worth it. In other countries, and even from one Costa Rican region to another, shapes and toppings for patacones will vary. They might be larger, either round or oblong or even shaped into baskets, and topped with all manner of beans, meat, cheese, fish, vegetables and salsas. Depending on the country, they are also known as tostones or fritos. A patacón heaped high with other delights is a hearty meal in itself.

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