In certain corners of Black British Twitter, we are trembling. We are tracking the handwritten cardboard signs with care: “3 for £1.20”, “3 for £1.47”, and in some corners of the country you will see plantain being sold outright for 50p each. Even Amazon is getting a cut.
Conspiracists gather with their theories. Could it be gentrification coming to claim our beloved things once again? With recipes for “caramelised plantain” swirling around glossier publications and bougie skincare lines boasting of the plantain extract in their face serums, it feels plausible. But it could also be Brexit – the uncertainty around this island’s fate has seen the strength of the pound plumbing new depths.
After trekking up and down my local high street doing my own price comparison, I asked a shopkeeper why the price had leapt so high. “It’s not us, it’s Colombia!” his boss jumped in defensively from behind. “What’s happened in Colombia?” I asked. “We don’t know,” he said. I coughed up £1.50 for three prime specimens for their trouble.