Platáno o banana - Which is more common?
Plátanos are a type of banana that is treated like a vegetable. It is not eaten raw and needs to be cooked. Plátanos also keep their shape when cooked, unlike bananas, which get mushy.
That may be so where you are, Spanishfan, but not in northern Mexico, where plátanos are the yellow fruit that ripens and grows mushy.
I'm wondering if the use might be regional, because the dictionary defines plátano both as the fruit, banana, and the vegetable you described. (In English, they're called plantain, I think.)
Tomorrow, when I go to the market, I'll hold up a plantain and ask what it's called.
I won't be surprised if the vegetable is called plátano, but I will be surprised if I hold up the fruit and hear banana.
I'll report later...
I have stayed some time in Venezuela and there they normally call the fruit banana - el cambur. I don't know if it's only there, or maybe it is like that in more Latin American countries. But plátano is like has been said here before, different and has to be cooked, and it is very good with food! They also make chips from them, like potato chips, very good snacks
El nombre de plátano, banana, banano, cambur, topocho o guineo agrupa a un gran número de plantas herbáceas del género Musa, tanto híbridos obtenidos horticulturalmente a partir de las especies silvestres del género Musa acuminata y Musa balbisiana como cultivares genéticamente puros de estas especies.
Other names for different kinds of bananas I'm familiar with: manzano, titiaro, hawaiiano, morado, niño...
In Spain we use banana for the fruit commonlly import from Ecuador or Central America (the biggest production areas). We use platano only to refer the variety of the Canary Islands (in Spain, too). "Our" platano is shorter and more sweat than the banana.
I checked yesterday at a market in Nogales, Sonora, and the plantain is called plátano macho. The banana is plátano.
The clerk told me that's the name they use, never banana.
Could be a regional thing...