Plantain Festival Aims to Break Guinness World Record

Deep-fried plantains, double-fried plantains, mashed plantains, and plantain patties were in abundance at the Primer Festival del Platano, held Sept. 17-18 in Washington Heights. Even the most die-hard plantain eaters could get their fill, as Zack Stieber reports in Epoch Times.
“They’re trying for the Guinness World Record,” explained a young lady, who was snapping pictures of a 20-plus-foot-long dish of mangu, a traditional recipe that mixes mashed plantains with water, and sometimes milk, butter, and salt and pepper.
The astonishingly large dish was made with 2,011 plantains. A crowd milled about, watching volunteers move the mashed plantains from a barrel onto the mangu and then spread them out. Later, more ingredients, such as salami and onions, were added.
“Stick around until after it’s done,” invited one woman, smiling. “It’s free.”
The event fliers, website, and business cards were all published in Spanish, and with the general coordinator of the event also speaking mostly in Spanish, the festival may have gone undetected by most English speakers. That’s too bad, because there was much more than just plantain dishes on hand.
“You can have a conversation with them like a human,” said Ali Perez, referring to his two African parrots. Although he left those two talkative birds at home, he brought two Guacamayo (Macaw) parrots to show in front of a booth selling the “Got Plaintain?” T-shirts.

Perez has 15 parrots, which he has purchased from exotic petstores. “I like to buy babies,” he said. “You have the opportunity to educate them in your way.”
He trains the birds not to fly away when out in the open and to sing songs. one of the African parrots can sing the national anthem. “The U.S one,” stated the Dominican native.
The event successfully gathered the local community to celebrate the heritage behind the inexpensive, yet nutritionally rich, plantain, a dietary staple across the Caribbean and Africa.
“Platano is more than food; platano is a symbol that represents what we are as Dominican,” said Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez at a press conference announcing the event on Sept. 6. “Behind the platano, there are so many working-class families that have been able to sustain themselves.”

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