Taro
(Colocasia esculenta)

Taro

More Taro

Selection

Pick young leaves that are green or pink with pale stalks. Older leaves may have calcium oxalate crystals, which can cause a very acrid taste even after cooking (Bailey, 1992).

Storage

Keep palagi taro in a cool, dry, dark place. Can preserve true taro in a soil-sealed pit, lined and covered with coconut husks or banana leaves. True taro corm can be baked or partly boiled, thinly sliced, and dried in the sun. Giant swamp taro corms can be frozen for longer storage. Leaves and stalks can be kept in a bowl of water to hold in a cool place or refrigerated in a clear plastic bag with holes (Malolo et al., 1999).

Preparation

  • Wash plant well before use.
  • Do not eat taro corms or leaves raw.
  • Corms can be roasted, baked, or boiled.
  • Carefully peel the skins off corms to avoid itchiness in the throat and mouth from acridity levels.
  • Boil taro leaves in water, then drain and cook inwater again or coconut cream to prevent mouthitchiness.
  • Green stalks of true taro combine well with taroleaves in salads and other traditional recipes.
  • (Bailey, 1992; Malolo et al., 1999)

Photo Source

NIH
J. Hollyer

Cooked Taro Corm Nutrition Facts

Cooked Taro Leaves Nutrition Facts

Taro

Taro has cultural significance in many Pacific cultures.Every part of the plant can be eaten except for the skin. Taro requires plenty of rain and deep, rich soil for it to grow. Four types of taro exist in the Pacific: Xanthosoma (palagi taro), Colocasia esculenta (true taro), Cyrtosperma (giant swamp taro), and Alocasia (giant taro) (Bailey, 1992; Malolo, Matenga-Smith, & Hughes, 1999).

Traditional Names
  • Chamorro – suni
  • Chuukese – pwuna
  • Hawaiian – kalo
  • Kosraen – kuhtak; pahsruhk
  • Marshallese – laraj
  • Palauan – prak; kukau
  • Pohnpeian – mwahng; sawa
  • Samoan – kalo
  • Yapese – mal; bwulage