What Does Taro Taste Like? All About This Mysterious Flavor
Taro is a unique and delicious food, but many people have never heard of it before! If you’re just hearing of taro for the first time, you’re probably wondering: What does it look like? What does taro taste like?
And lucky for you, I’ve got the answers! I happen to be a huge fan of taro in all forms, so I can let you know what to expect when enjoying taro for the first time. Let’s get to it!
What Is Taro?
Before we get into the flavor of taro, you probably want to know what it is!
Like potatoes and okra, taro is a root vegetable. Traditionally, it is grown in semi-tropical areas including Africa and Oceania. As with many root vegetables, Taro comes in many different varieties:
The flesh of the vegetable usually is pure white, ivory, or pale purple in color, but you’ll find some variation in this as well.
What Does Taro Taste Like?
Now to answer your most itching question: What does taro taste like?
It’s not always easy to describe what a food tastes like, so I’m going to give you a few different descriptors that should help you get an idea of what to expect from this root vegetable:
- Mild and nutty
- Starchy flavor, similar to potatoes
- Small varieties have sweeter flavor
- Larger varieties taste more meaty
- Earthier sweet potato
- Slightly sweet but still earthy, like vanilla
Does that give you an idea of what taro might taste like? It’s hard to put a flavor into words, but I hope my descriptions have helped you.
Another thing to note is that the flavor profile of taro goes very well with creamy milk-like flavors. This is why taro is often prepared using coconut cream, milk, or cream. The rich flavor helps to bring out the sweetness in this earthy root.
Is Taro Good For You?
Like other vegetables, taro is packed with vitamins and minerals that your body needs to stay strong and healthy! By adding taro to your diet, you can expect a number of different positive health benefits:
While taro has better nutritional value than potatoes do, it is also a source of more carbohydrates than potatoes. While this can give you more energy, it also comes with more calories. Make sure to eat taro in moderation to avoid excess weight gain.
How Do I Choose And Prepare Taro?
Choosing a taro root is easier than it might seem, but if you aren’t sure where to begin, just follow this video:
The main thing to note about taro is that it should not be eaten raw; it can cause kidney stones because it contains a very large amount of calcium oxalate.
There are many different ways to prepare it. You can steam it, boil it, or bake it!
However you choose to prepare your taro root, you always want to cook it thoroughly to ensure you won’t feel any discomfort in the mouth or throat. This means that, at a minimum, taro should be boiled once and then reboiled in water or coconut cream.
For a more full description of how to prepare taro root, check out this useful tip video:
Other Variations Of Taro To Try
You don’t have to prepare taro at home to get a taste of the flavor. Thankfully, there’s a number of different cuisines and dishes that you can try to experience taro without having to go through the stress of preparing it yourself.
Taro Bubble Tea
Bubble tea, a very popular drink, often comes in a taro variation. While this taro is more like a syrup taro flavor than authentic taro, it gives you an idea of the starchy flavor that is to be expected of taro.
I always suggest this as a good “starter taro” product because the tea is mixed with milk, so the flavor isn’t as overwhelming. If you like root based teas, you’ll love this one.
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Yogurt & Frozen Yogurt
Because taro has a slightly sweet edge to it, more and more companies are creating taro flavored yogurt and frozen yogurt products. As you can see, taro goes well with milk-based products, so it’s a perfect fit with yogurt.
Chinese Pork Buns
Have you ever tried a Chinese pork bun before? Many of them are made with taro dough! Because taro is a starchy vegetable, it is often used to create baked goods such as these buns. You’ll notice how the dough is different from flour based doughs.
Taro is used in many places to create baked goods, as I mentioned. Trying any of these baked goods will give you an idea of the sweet richness that comes with taro.
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Are You Ready To Try Taro?
No matter which type of taro product you try first, take time to enjoy and experience its unique flavor. Even if it doesn’t become a food that you regularly crave, I can nearly guarantee that you’ll find it to be unlike anything else you’ve had before!
What type of taro product do you want to try first? There’s a lot to choose from, but most people don’t want to prepare it for themselves the first time they eat it.
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Let me know in the comments. I always recommend bubble tea, but for stronger taro taste, go for the real thing! You can find it prepared at some Polynesian, Hawaiian, or Thai restaurants.