July 20th is a great opportunity for us to wish a happy Grito de Independencia to our all our Colombian friends. And what better than patacones served with hogao sauce to celebrate?
I actually discovered these patacones a few years ago through my friend Connie, who has been a long time friend of my wife and her family, and who is originally from Bogota.
What is Grito de Independencia?
And although this independence led by Simon Bolivar and Francisco de Paula Santander that happened on July 20, 1810, will only be effective nine years later on August 7, 1819, it is indeed that date that was chosen to celebrate the end of the Spanish occupation.
The independentists started the first representative assembly in Bogota. La Casa del Floreo, literally the house of the flower vase, hosts the Independence museum today and it is no coincidence that this museum today bears this name as the Llorente’s flower vase incident was the trigger for the July 20, 1810 event.
It is indeed following the refusal of a loan of a flower vase by the Spanish merchant José González Llorente to Luis Rubio that the episode about the popular revolt (reyerta) or scream (grito) started. This event was what started the independence movement.
What are patacones (tostones)?
Back to our patacones! These kinds of green plantain chips, twice fried, should be served hot or warm, as an accompaniment to fish for example, or as snacks most often served with guacamole, hogao (criollo sauce) as is the case here or even with aji.
This specialty is well known in both Caribbean and Latin American cuisines. In those regions that compete for its origin, the recipe appears under two distinct names depending on the country: they are called patacones in Colombia, Ecuador, Costa Rica and Peru. They are called tostones in Cuba, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, and Haiti. In West Africa , they are just called plantain chips.
The origin of the word patacones seems to either come from the Spanish word for “toast” or from the currency of the same name dating from the time of Great Colombia in the first half of the eighteenth century.
- 4 green plantains
- Oil (for frying)
- Tostonera (plantain press)
Peel the plantains and cut each into 4 sections.
Plunge into a hot frying oil for about 5 minutes, until golden brown.
Remove them with a slotted spoon and place on paper towels.
Flatten each fried portion with a tostonera, wooden utensil used for crushing the segments into a flat circles. You can also flatten each portion of fried plantain between two boards lined with plastic wrap, to obtain ¼-inch thick flat pancakes.
Deep fry the plantain flat sections, in small batches, for about 4 minutes. Pick them up with a slotted spoon and place them on paper towels.
Add a pinch of salt and serve hot.