You must have seen people having a light purpled colored drink all over social media and calling it taro tea. Nowadays, Taro root-flavored boba tea, coffee, yogurt, ice cream, and many other sweet dishes made from taro roots are trendy.
Taro roots also serve as a staple in many different cuisines. It is famous for its beautiful purple color and flavorful taste.
You must be wondering to yourself, what does taro root taste like that makes it so popular? Is it truly as tasty as people say it is? And is it only the taste that makes it so unique?
Well, you do not need to ponder about it anymore. We are here to let you know about the versatile flavors of the taro root.
What Is Taro Root
Taro is a tropical root plant found mainly in Asia and some African countries. The exact origin of taro roots is still not known. But it is principally cultivated in tropical areas. They have different names in different parts of the world.
It is considered one of the oldest cultivated root vegetables or plants. Nowadays, people use taro roots to make many delicious dishes.
Taro root is called different things in different regions of the world. Some of these are dasheen, Kalo, edo, madhumbe, arbi, godere, satoimo, cocoyam, etc. But the most common name of this plant is taro.
What Does Taro Root Look Like
It is brownish on the outside like any other root vegetable. Still, the color on the inside depends on the soil and its cultivation atmosphere. So, it can be purple, white, or pink, with tiny purple specks.
On the outside, the texture of taro root is a bit rough, kind of like yam. On the inside, the taro root has a starchy texture. It has heart-shaped leaves, which are also edible.
Taro root varies depending on its petiole color, streak color, size, shape, flavor, type of corms, required moisture amount, time of growth, and many others.
However, with so many taro roots, people still use an average look to describe it: brown on the outside and white with tiny dark specks on the inside.
What Does Taro Root Taste Like
People have used different flavors when describing the taste of taro root flavored dishes. Almost all of them were pleasing flavors. The ability to absorb other flavors is what makes taro root so versatile.
Raw Taro Root:
Taro root taste depends on its size too. The larger ones have a strong and nutty flavor, and the small ones have a mild taste. In fact, the two flavors mentioned the most to describe the taste of taro roots are sweet and nutty.
In most cases, if the taro is purple, it will be the sweetest. On the other hand, white taro root has a bit milder taste.
Many advocates it for its starchy texture. Some say it tastes sweet like yam and has an earthy, nutty taste and texture.
Different types of preparation give different tastes to taro root. When cooked, taro root tastes like sweet potato. Fried taro roots taste just like potato chips.
Deserts and Tea:
If you ever try taro-flavored ice cream, you will find that it tastes sweet and like vanilla.
The most popular taro drink, the taro bubble tea, has been labeled with different tastes by different people. Some say it has a bit of a chocolaty flavor. Others have said that it tastes like vanilla.
To some people, it tasted like caramel and coconut. Many people have used the words milky, buttery, creamy, nutty, cookie-like to describe the taste of taro-flavored boba. So, the taste depends on the person consuming it. But nobody has anyone ever said that taro tastes terrible.
You will find a strong, sweet taste if you use taro powder for your taro dishes, especially your taro drink. Taro powder will also give your drink a dense, smooth, and creamy texture.
Coffee creamer, truffle powder, tapioca starch, icing sugar, and anti-caking agents are added to store-brought taro powder. These additives can make your taro powder taste different than the homemade one.
And Even More:
People have also mentioned that taro roots taste like cookies-n-cream, buttered popcorn, caramel, coconut, and chocolate. Some have mentioned that it tastes like cereal with milk. It always feels enjoyable, especially if you have a sweet tooth, no matter the taste.
Taro flavor can be an acquired taste for some people and, with time and can turn into a new favorite flavor for them.
Nutritional Contents of Taro Root
Like many other root vegetables, taro roots are full of nutrition and health benefits.
Taro roots are rich in fiber and more fibrous than potatoes. They contain a significant amount of carbohydrates. These roots are a great source of vitamins and minerals like iron, potassium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, folate, Vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and vitamin E
Health Benefits of Taro Root
Just because taro tastes good does not mean it is bad for your health, which can be the case for many tasty dishes. Consumption of taro roots can improve your health immensely.
Increase Heart Functions:
Taro roots are rich in potassium and fiber. Potassium relieves the pressure on the arteries and the blood vessels. When arteries and vessels are relaxed, the heart can pump blood, and blood can quickly flow through them. By doing this, taro root improves your cardiovascular health.
Lower Cholesterol Level:
Fibers in taro root regulate the cholesterol level. Smooth blood flow also helps increase and develop your cognitive functions.
Regulate Blood Sugar Level:
Fibers and resistant starch found in taro root help maintain the blood sugar level. They both absorb carbs and prevent insulin from releasing into the bloodstream. Therefore, taro roots prevent your body from becoming insulin resistant and diabetic.
Maintain Healthy Gut Environment:
Fibers and resistant starch help food pass through your gastrointestinal tract easily and block health issues such as cramping, constipation, and bloating. Resistant starch is also a good food source for the friendly bacteria in your gut. So, all these cause improvement in your overall gut health.
Remove Radicals and Prevent Cancer:
Vitamins and antioxidants contained in taro roots assist by eliminating dangerous and harmful radicals from your body. A pigment found in taro roots called cryptoxanthin will lower your chances of developing certain cancers such as oral cancer and lung cancer.
Assist in Weight Loss:
Since taro roots are high in starch and fiber, you will feel full for a long time after eating any taro dishes. And this will ultimately lead you to lose weight.
So, as you can see, taro roots have a very defining role in your health and fitness.
Taro Root Dishes
The most popular taro root dish is boba tea or bubble tea. It originated in Asia but is now available worldwide. Taro flavored boba tea is made with taro root powder, and you can make it at home.
Some people simply cook the taro root and eat it for its sweet potato or yam-like taste. The part developed below the soil of taro that people eat is not the root rather the corms. The leaves and stems of taro are consumable too.
Fried taro roots taste just like potato chips. Cakes, milkshakes, cookies, buns, frozen yogurt, soup, stew, dumplings, salad – you can use taro roots to make all these dishes.
Processed flour, mainly used for baking and coating, can also be made from taro roots. Not just these, using taro roots, you can also cook noodles, pancakes, cupcakes, curry, pie, bread, salsa, croquet, and many other sweet and savory dishes. Also, you can try a new recipe using taro roots on your own.
However, even though it is a root plant, you should not eat any of its parts raw because it can numb your mouth and cause choking as it contains toxic substances. So, the advice is to cook the taro root before consuming it.
Where Can You Find Taro Roots
You can find taro roots in your nearest grocery shops. If there is any East Asian, Indian, or Latin supermarket near you, you can also find taro roots.
With proper soil, fertilizer, environment, and space, you can buy taro seeds and cultivate them on your own too. And using your taro roots to make the dishes is cheaper than buying them from restaurants.
But since some people find it hard to cultivate it, they opt to buy taro and taro dishes from the shops.
How to Store Taro Roots
Taro roots should be kept in the dark and in a cool spot. You can use a brown sack or paper bag and keep it at room temperature.
But if you have a cellar, it is better to keep the taro roots there. Taro has a long shelf life like sweet potato, potato, and other root plants.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Does taro taste like sweet potato
Yes, you can say that. After taro is cooked, it tastes a lot like sweet potato.
Why is taro root toxic
It’s only toxic when you eat it raw. The toxicity is caused by a large amount of calcium oxalate in it. You can eliminate the toxic ingredient by properly cooking it.
Can you eat giant taro
Yes, but you have to boil it properly first.
If you are still wondering what taro root tastes like after reading all these, you should not wait anymore and try a taro root dish as soon as possible. You can try the most common and popular one, the taro boba drink.
It will not take you long to become a fan of the flavor. Because along with its taste, it is plentiful in nutrition and health benefits. After trying it yourself, maybe you can encourage those from your family and friends who are yet to try taro root dishes to have them by making one for them.