I would not be surprised to learn that there are other names out there for these chips.   Speaking of names, you might notice that I refer to my mother and father as “Mamina” and “Papillo”. Among Cubans nicknames are common.  It’s done in love and fun, it indicates a closeness to each other.  Those not accustomed to this are surprised when they hear people referred to with descriptive nicknames like these of my parents, aunts and uncles: Guajiro, Gordo, China, Niña, or Prietusca (one of my mother’s nicknames from her family, because of her very black hair). No offense is meant and none is taken, though in English they do seem offensive, which is why I'm skipping the translations! As a baby, I somehow understood about nicknames, and I personalized the usual Mamá and Papá into Mamina and Papillo.   I’m their first child, so the naming rights were mine.

This short video shows how to make Chicharritas.

If you live in Miami or some other place with Cuban markets, you can buy Chicharritas in bags, just like you would potato chips, but we don’t have that luxury where I live. I don’t like to fry so I don’t make them very often, but I sure enjoyed them when my mother made them for us as a special treat!
They keep very well, if you can hide them from the kids. After some of my children left home, my mother would make Chicharritas and mail them to the kids, or have them ready for their visits home.

Several large green plantains
Oil for frying (in Cuba we used lard)

Peel plantains by cutting off ends, cutting in half and slicing the hard outside peel length wise, then pulling it off the fruit. If you peel them under cold running water, it will minimize the dark staining to your hands from the platanos “sap”. Slice into thin rounds, the thinner the better, the easiest way is with a slicer. Fry in hot oil, not smoking, (about 370°F) until golden. Drain on paper towels. Add salt and enjoy!

3 Response to CHICHARRITAS OR MARIQUITAS- Green Plantain Chips

March 29, 2012 at 1:32 PM

Admittedly I avoid all fried snacks or foods but I think chicharritas are my favorite "cuban food", I find them so much better than any other "chip". irresistible!!

May 17, 2012 at 11:55 AM

I've never cared for these, but Amy loves them. She ordered them as an appetizer, even though she knew I wouldn't want any, when we went to Havana Cafe in Phoenix a couple of weeks ago.
So you're the one that started the whole Mamina and Papillo nicknames? I never knew where they came from, I always thought they were their names for the grandkids. Is that what you called them when you were little?

June 6, 2012 at 10:23 AM

Yes, I always called them Mamina & Papillo. I don't remember ever calling them anything else, but I don't remember why.

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