We tested a fried plantain recipe this week—we cut them into pieces, then fried, smashed, and fried them again. We noticed that a third of the plantain pieces got much darker than the others, with a softer texture and sweeter flavor. During the tasting, deputy editor Yaran Noti pointed out that the darker plantains were closer to the authentic Jamaican version he tasted while reporting a story on the island. We realized that while we used green plantains for the recipe, one of them was much riper than the others, resulting in the dark, chewy pieces. The reason is the higher sugar content that causes the plantain to brown while frying. Fried green plantains are crispy and chip-like, referred to as tostones in Latin American countries. Alternatively, the fried ripe plantains are softer and sweeter, referred to as maduros in Latin American countries. While we were looking for ripe plantains for this recipe, try both and see which you prefer.