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Trying Out Taro March 16, 2011

Oven roasted fresh taro fininshed by lightly sauteing with fresh garlic

Trying out Taro

A few weeks ago after brunch with my friends in China Town, my curiosity got the better of me when I spotted a bag of dried taro at a local supermarket. My only past experience of taro had been in a frozen yogurt shop as I tasted a delicious purple “taro” yogurt that was sweet and tangy. With this memory on my taste buds, I purchased the bag under the very mistaken impression that I was buying some kind of dried fruit. When we got outside I tore open the package to share with my friends only to find that the dried taro was as hard as a rock and tasted like… nothing.  Actually I couldn’t really tell what it tasted like because it was too hard to bite into. I ended up soaking the dried taro overnight and roasting it with rosemary and herbs like potato slices. It was not terrible but still pretty tough and not particularly flavorful. I still have no idea what dried taro is used for. (If you have any ideas please comment on this post! I still have half a bag..)

Now even more intrigued by this food, I looked up recipes online and found one that I liked for fresh taro. I peeled and roasted the fresh taro (the small kind, not the giant taro root pieces) with herbs, spices, garlic, and olive oil, loosely following this recipe.

The verdict: It was pretty tasty. Similar to a potato but sweeter and stickier. It was not however, “a dream to peel” for me as the recipe had predicted it would be and ended up being pretty time consuming to make. I ate some of it right after cooking, then sliced and tossed the rest in a pasta dish I made the following day.

Next time: My friends and I are thinking the taro might work to put an interesting twist on mashed potatoes. We would use some part taro, part potato, and plenty of garlic and herbs.


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