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Taro Root

For Chefs & Produce Managers
Food Service: 323-584-4940
Produce Managers: 800-468-7111

Seasonality: Year Round
Origin: China, Costa Rica, Brazil

(Pronounced TARE-oh or TAR-oh)

With more than 100 varieties of this starchy tuber grown worldwide, it is no wonder that Taro Root is such an important staple in Southeast Asia, Africa, India, China (where it is called Eddo), the Caribbean (where it is called Dasheen), and the Polynesian islands (where it is the main ingredient in poi, the Hawaiian national dish). Looking very much like malanga, this potato-like root can range in length from 5 inches to over a foot long. The flesh is often creamy white or pale pink and sometimes becomes purple-tinged once cooked. Taro Root, though not very flavorful raw, has a nutty flavor when cooked and is very easy to digest. Used much like a potato, Taro Root can be boiled, fried, or baked, while the edible leaves may be steamed and used just like spinach.

When selecting Melissa’s Taro Root, look for firm, brown-skinned roots with rings. Avoid soft spots or patches. Leaves should be fresh and bright green. Remove leaves just before using roots and save for later use. Store Taro Root as you would a potato. The leaves should be refrigerated and used within one week.

To prepare, peel Taro Root with a vegetable peeler under running water to avoid any sensitivity to its sticky juices. Keep covered with water (in a bowl or pan) until ready to use.