Dibullero Plantain

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The Dibullero plantain is a fruit that grows on a tree that can reach up to five meters high and can be between 19 and 30 cm wide. The fruit is characterized by its thickness, mealiness, and for its compact pulp that allows the fruit not to break apart during cooking. The peel is hard and easy to separate from the pulp. A very common dish is patacones, or mashed and fried plantains. The cultivation of this fruit is the most thriving and traditional in the area around Dibulla. In fact, this plantain has been cultivated since 1798, the year in which the locals were initially converted to Christianity.   The cultivation of plantains is culturally tied to the community because it is the basic ingredient in various traditional recipes, like the platano maduro (sweet plantains), a cake made from cooked sweet plantains, and a shake known as jolo jolo. A traditional treat for children is a kind of shake made with plantains and brown sugar.   Dibullero plantain flour was traditionally made in the period when strong winds hit the plantain fields. So as not to waste the fruit, the local women cut them into slices, placed them on zinc sheets which were placed on their roofs until the slices dried out, and finally they ground the fruit into flour. The slices were brought inside when the sun was still out, in order not to lose the crunchiness of the fruit to the night’s humidity. The easiest way to prepare plantains is still to cook or fry them, either in slices or in the form of patacón (similar to fried green tomatoes). The historic production area is Rio caña, Corregimiento de Mingueo, in the area around Dibulla. There are currently only 435 hectares cultivated with this variety, and about 2,000 tons are produced each year, according to the data from the Secretary for the Economic Development of La Guajira.   These plantains are available on the market, but they have an enemy in the disease known as Black Sigatoka. Another factor that threatens this fruit’s existence is the uncontrolled management on the part of the farmers, who are not diligent in cleaning, pruning, and curing for the health of the plants in general. Dibullero plantains are also threatened by the cold spells that come in the winter and the damaging effects of chemical pesticides.  

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La Guajira