Many people confuse plantains with bananas. Although they look a lot like green bananas and are a close relative, plantains are very different. Plantains are starchy, not sweet, and they are used as a vegetable in many recipes, especially in Latin America and Africa. Plantains are sold in the fresh produce section of the supermarket. They usually resemble green bananas, but ripe plantains may be black in color. Plantains are longer than bananas and they have thicker skins. They also have natural brown spots and rough areas.