WHAT IS A TARO?
It is a tropical plant whose root is edible only when cooked. With giant elephant ear sized leaves that grow to over a foot (30 cm) in length, this is also a popular ornamental plant. Taro is a popular substitute in Asia and Hawaii (poi!) for potatoes. It has a mildly sweet, nutty flavor and specks of purple which give a great visual contrast in dishes like french fries!
WHY IS TARO GOOD FOR YOU?
This starchy delicacy has twice the fiber and better nutritionals then a potato for starters. It’s rich in vitamins B and C as well as the minerals magnesium, potassium copper and zinc.
WHEN IS TARO IN SEASON?
Being from the tropics, this root is available throughout the year. It’s love of swampy, wet soil means irrigation is necessary in dryer climates.
HOW SHOULD TARO BE STORED?
Like most roots and tubers, store unpeeled in a cool, dark place with ventilation. However they don’t keep as long as potatoes so try to consume them within the week. If peeled, keep submerged in water in your refrigerator for up to several days to maintain freshness.
WHAT IS THE PROPER WAY TO PEEL A TARO?
It is the same knife technique that you use on a beet, click here to see!
DOES TARO HAVE THE GENETIC CHARACTERISTICS OF A SMALL CHILD?
Nope. But in Hawaiian mythology the God of the Sky and his daughter conceived a child who sadly was stillborn. They buried the child and from its grave the first taro root grew. Their next child became the first human (their equivalent of Adam). And thus was born Hawaii’s long love affair with the taro root.