To be honest, not everybody gets the opportunity to buy or taste taro. You yourself may go to the grocery store but just walk past this delightful root crop. I say delightful because have you ever tried taro bubble tea? Well, it’s packed with lots of flavor and is hugely popular.
But if you haven’t and are curious about the taste, texture, and even the health benefits of this vegetable, which is also known as the potato of the tropics, then it’s time to get to know more. So let’s get to that right away!
Okay, But First What Is Taro?
Originally, taro comes from the tropical areas of South Asia. But currently, taro is cultivated in regions like Hawaii, Brazil, and Venezuela. It’s a root vegetable belonging to the Araceae plant. The leaves are heart-shaped and also edible.
Now it depends which region taro comes from. Meaning it varies in color – pink, purple, or white – depending on the area of cultivation. More often than not, the flesh is white-colored and the skin is brown. With very tiny purple-shaded spots inside.
As for the texture, it’s much like a potato due to the starchiness. So it’s only common for people to eat taro like potatoes. This implies you can boil, mash, fry, roast, or bake taro roots. At the same time, and quite surprisingly, taro is great for preparing drinks and desserts too. For example, taro smoothie…
Now Here Are the Amazing Health Benefits of Taro
Since taro has been compared to potatoes, it’s only natural to assume that it belongs to the carbohydrate and starch category. And much like foods from that particular category, taro is also packed with fiber (around 5 to 7 grams in a single cup of taro). And you know what fiber is good for, right? It keeps your blood sugar in check.
Another thing you ought to know about taro root is that it minimizes the chances of heart disease. After all, taro is loaded with fiber and fiber regulates the cholesterol and blood sugar levels in your body. Therefore, reducing the chances of developing heart disease.
Taro is a starchy vegetable, right? That means you can incorporate it into your diet as a healthy, low-calorie alternative. So if you’re looking for substitutes to normal potatoes and other such major carb sources, then taro seems like a very good choice in terms of weight loss and calorie control.
Finally, What Does Taro Taste Like?
Have you tasted potatoes? I’m guessing YES. In that case, taro is much like that, but sweeter. So does that mean taro tastes like sweet potatoes? Yes, exactly!
When you look at the texture and structure of taro, it looks pretty much like normal potatoes. And that is indeed indicative of how the taste and overall flavor resemble that of potatoes. Along the same vein, taro, more often than not, is also used as the base ingredient in plenty of dishes to create texture. Be it crispy or otherwise!
Now you may already know that the taste of taro also depends on the type of dish. When making ice cream with taro root, the flavor you get is incredibly subtle. It then tastes much like vanilla but starchy of course. As for taro milk teas, the taste here is reminiscent of creamier vanilla.
Describing what does taro taste like in terms of its flavor is very hard indeed because it’s almost impossible to pigeonhole the flavor into any one category. But typically speaking, the flavor is subtle and falls somewhere between sweet potato and normal potato.
You can use taro for making fries, chips, as well as soups and stews. Then there’s taro bubble tea too!
How to Cook Taro to Bring Out Its Natural Taste – Some Cooking Tips!
After taro goes through the cooking process, what does it taste like then? This particular root vegetable has an earthy, starchy characteristic that pairs up pretty well with milk-like, creamy flavors. Such flavors and their richness truly bring out the underlying sweetness of taro. This explains why taro roots are the most commonly used with recipes that contain milk or coconut cream.
Purple-tinted taro can be boiled, baked, or roasted in a normal manner. The smaller version of taro is often boiled, peeled, and then sold. It’s frozen, canned, or dipped in liquids.
What about taro leaves? They have a subtle acrid taste after you boil them twice. But you should be consuming them only if those stems are pink and green. Not boiling the leaves the right way prevents the dissipation of the calcium oxalate present in them, which tends to irritate the throat and mouth if consumed.
Many health enthusiasts looking for gluten-free substitutes to sweet potatoes, turnips, yucca, and yams often choose taro. Taro corms are also used for making flour in bakeries. All thanks to the root vegetable’s nutritional value, sweetness level, and flavor.
Here are some creative Taro recipes…
Steam the taro until it becomes soft. Then you mash it to achieve a creamy, smooth consistency like mashed potatoes.
Bake it first and then add butter and other toppings if you like – spring onions, chives, cheese, bacon, etc. The starchy texture and flavor of taro are sure to absorb all those flavors.
Paste of cooked taro stuffed into pastry dough – now that’s a healthy pork buns substitute.
Taro Chips and Fries
Slice it thin and then fry until it all becomes crispy, like French Fries of course. And if you’re a health and fitness enthusiast, then bake.
Most people eat taro mainly for its roots and corms. The taste is a combination of both sweet potatoes and normal potatoes. But the texture is slimmer, comparatively speaking. The flavor here is not excessively bland nor is it excessively sweet – very pleasant tasting indeed!
A lot of people eat boiled taro, since it’s a delicacy, with broth or white sugar. You can also mash it for preparing delicious desserts. And when incorporated into soups and stews, taro actually complements the appetizing texture of the dish.