Green “saba” banana or commonly called plantain is very common in the Philippines as a snack food. I grew up practically eating this type of banana. It has more starch than sugar compared to other bananas like apple bananas for example. That’s why when you eat this raw, even if its ripe, it’s not as sweet as the other bananas. That’s why we cook this type of banana. During my elementary school years, I always eat this “saba” banana during recess. It is boiled in water and brown sugar and when they serve it, they put shaved ice and cream on top. I tell you, it’s really, really good.
“Saba” bananas also is made into what we call banana cue which means bananas in skewer. The ripe bananas are fried in oil then brown sugar is added until it caramelized and coats the bananas. Then they are sold in bamboo sticks and so they are called banana cue like barbecue in sticks. It is also an ingredient in making halo-halo, bilo-bilo and other delightful desserts. But sometimes they are used in savory cooking like beef nilaga and estofado. Other places in the Philippines like in Iloilo or Kalibo in the Visayas, the green saba banana is boiled and eaten just like a regular potato. They also make banana chips that are coated with caramel and sold as snacks too. I understand that other cultures use plantain as staple foods especially in Africa. In Central America and the Caribbean, it is used in practically every dish.
Just like the common banana, saba or cooking banana is also rich in potassium and low in calorie. The tree of the saba banana (Cardaba banana) is easy to grow and propagate by itself. When the fruits are ready to pick, you have to chop the whole tree because it will die anyway eventually since it has done its job which is to bear fruit.