Actually an entire subset of the banana, the plantain has been in North America far longer than the common banana. Those not familiar with the culinary attributes of plantains often view them as looking too black, too green or too bruised. However, that is exactly how they are to look at their different stages of edible use. The plantain is larger, firmer and has a thicker peel than the common banana. As green plantains are simply the younger immature stage of the fruit, they have a very firm and starchy textured lean-flavored flesh due to their very low sugar content. As plantains ripen, they develop a sweet taste and their color changes from green to yellow to black.