Tostones (from the Spanish verb tostar which means "to toast") or patacones are a side dish that is popular in many Latin American countries. The dish is made from sliced green (unripe) plantains which are cut either length-wise or width-wise and are twice fried. The slices of plantains are fried for 1-2 minutes on each side until they are golden in color and removed, then patted for excess oil. Afterwards, they are pounded flat with a utensil made for the task called a "tostonera," or any kitchen utensil that has a large enough flat surface. The plantains are then fried once again until they are crisp and golden brown.