Dear plantain lovers,
Plantain is overrated.
Yes, I said it.
Whether it’s eaten as kelewele in Ghana, alloco on the streets of Cote’d’voire or makemba in the homes of the Congolese people, plantain is plantain and we’re all expected to love it. Why? I’m still unsure. But I’m tired of pretending to love this overrated meal. So even though an army of misguided plantain lovers will drag me, I’m finally ready to unapologetically admit that I hate plantain.
1. We were forced to eat it as kids
As kids, plantain came with almost every meal: rice, beans, eggs, boiled or fried yam and sometimes even pap or oatmeal. Just thinking about it makes me tired. Was it necessary to shoehorn plantain into everything?
One of my earliest memories of eating plantain was sitting at the dining table as my mother suspiciously watched to make sure every piece of plantain went down my throat. “It has vitamins,” she’d say. Of course, I couldn’t argue. It was better to eat than end up being punished for not finishing my food. My only escape was school. In primary school, I’d either toss my plantain in the bin or dash one of the plantain lovers in my class. So imagine my annoyance when I’d go home to meet plantain in a cooler again. Is it by force?
When I went to boarding school, my only consolation was being able to trade my plantain for anything: for a few more spoons of rice or even boiled egg for the next morning. That’s how bad I wanted to be rid of plantain.
2. Finding good plantain is stressful
Like pasta, plantain needs to be prepared a certain way to make any sense. If it’s too soft, it soaks up all the oil and ends up as a soggy mess. When it’s unripe, plantain tastes like cardboard — except you’re over 50+. So why not just live life without the stress of searching for sweet-in-the-middle plantain?
That’s why yam fries and potato chips rank higher on the food chain.
3. Plantain smells weird
Let’s be honest, every time you fry plantain, you end up smelling like a farm animal. You have to take a bath and wash your clothes to get rid of the smell.
4. It ruins everything it touches
5. It’s overrated because it is
And that’s on period. Plantain lovers should stop acting like semo lovers who want everyone to love semo just because they love it.
Plantain haters deserve a safe space too, and I refuse to hide my distaste any longer. So like I said in the beginning, “I hate plantain.”