Try it and love it: Taro Root

I used to think me and Andrew Zimmern could hang out. Now, I’d rather kick Zimmern’s bizarre foods butt when it comes to embracing unusual eats. The reason we can’t hang out anymore is because on the Hawaii episode of Bizarre Foods, Zimmern dogs spam AND poi.

I can forgive you for not liking SPAM. Some people are just not down with strange meats. My friend attempted some smoked bear meat my cousin sent us and she just couldn’t do it. Disappointed, yes, but I forgive.

A food you really should give yourself time to develop a taste for is poi. It is a wonderfully tangy accompaniment to fish, pork, rice and is famous for it’s drippy purple appearance at Hawaiian lu’au.

I’m assuming poi is difficult to find outside of Hawaii. But, you will likely be able to get your hands on a taro root (what poi is made from) at an Asian foods store. Be warned: some would consider the taro root to be a bizarre food due to its slimy texture. There’s an interesting explanation of this on Just Hungry. I find it similar to potato and the texture doesn’t bother me.

You need to know that the hairy exterior of the taro root can sting your skin. You should take precautions when peeling it, such as wearing gloves. A vegetable peeler will do to peel it.

Prepare the taro root just as you would potatoes; roast, boil, make into chips. In the photo above, I made mine into a taro curry over rice.

While poi is made from the taro root, I have not attempted to prepare it. I’m a bit intimidated by the process.

I’d love to hear your bizarre foods escapades. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever tried?

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8 thoughts on “Try it and love it: Taro Root

  1. Ok, I’m def going to try that tarro root. That curry sounds yum yum. Hrmmm odd foods let’s see. I’ve had snails, frogs legs, rabbit, gator, rattle snake, ox tail, and roasted cacti pear. Do any of those qualify?

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    1. Everyone kept trying to tell me they tasted like chicken. That was the most awful chicken in the world if that’s true. They were really dark meat and ropey in texture. I don’t think it was the taste that I had a problem with at the time but more the texture. That was really awful. To top it off, they had served it with a carrot and bell pepper salad soaked in oil with a mega stinky vinegar. At the time I HATED the smell of vinegar so that alone was about to make me gag. The rattle snake actually does taste like chicken breast meat, gator is really white and light in flavor, ox tail (just don’t do it) and rabbit tasted fairly similar to chicken but more gamey. My favorite was the roasted cacti pear. We cut them off with our pocket knives, skewered them on the ends and roasted them over the fire to burn the tiny near invisible needles off to protect our tongues. Those things were so sweet and yummy they were like candy. I could’ve eaten those all night.

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