Cookbook:Taro Root

Taro Root

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The taro root, as with other tubers, is recognized by other names. This tuber is also known as the dasheen, yautia, eddo, and kalo in many areas of the world including West Africa, Asia, Central America, South America, the Caribbean and Polynesian islands. This root is most well-known as the ingredient of the Hawaiian dish poi, which is mashed taro root.

The hairy outer coating on a taro root is similar to a coconut. The hairy outer layer is always removed with caution since skin irritation can arise caused by the juices secreted by the taro root. Skin irritations arising from Taro juices can be cured by applying a a mixture of table vinegar and water (1:2) on the sore part. It is recommended to use protective rubber gloves when handling this tuber. Raw taro root is toxic, so always cook it before eating.

The roots are starchy and generally treated like potato. These tubers take on a nut-like flavor when cooked. Frying, baking, roasting, boiling, or steaming them as an accompaniment to meat dishes are all common uses. Soups and stews are other dishes that taro root suits well. Taro may be pounded into a thick grey paste and used to thicken other dishes in Asian cooking. Taro roots provide a good source of fiber and supply approximately 110 Calories per adult serving.

Select tubers that are firm and hairy, with no wrinkling. Store the roots for up to one week in a cool and dry location, making sure that the roots do not dry out.

The leaves and flowers are also sometimes eaten. Taro leaves can be treated like spinach and boiled or steamed.