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  Edible Taro
From: Alastair Robinson Alastair_R at compuserve.com> on 1999.10.04 at 23:27:09(3687)
I was in China Town yesterday afternoon and, while perusing some
of the market stalls, came across a basket of large tubers, each about 7
inches high and 5 inches in diameter - these were simply labelled 'Taro'.

Would anyone have any idea as to the identity of the plants that these came

From: Shing Lam slam at cyberbase.com.hk> on 1999.10.05 at 22:16:11(3693)

Taro is Colocasia esculenta, which is widely grown as a food crop in south
east asia.

From: "J D Prince" Nestlebrae.Exotics at xtra.co.nz> on 1999.10.05 at 22:22:02(3694)
Edible taro is Colocasia esculenta and its subspecies which have an enormous
variety of names depending on where you are in the world. According to
"Queer gear: how to buy and cook exotic fruit and vegetables" by Carolyn
Heal and Michael Allsop, who are writing about things likely to be found in
the U.K., Colocasia esculenta var. antiquorum is called eddoe, C.e. var.
sculenta is dasheen, but both are also called taro. In the Pacific Islands
there are probably hundreds of different "varieties". Fijians alone
recognise more than 80 different sorts, so what you saw is probably one of
them. If you kept it warm and moist it would probably sprout and grow. You
can eat the leaves of them as well as the tubers, though both are somewhat
of an acquired taste: the tubers are much drier than potatoes.
John Prince & Rosemary Steele,
Nestlebrae Exotics, 219 South Head Road, Parkhurst,
R.D.1 Helensville, New Zealand 1250.
From: "Julius Boos" ju-bo at email.msn.com> on 1999.10.05 at 22:26:40(3695)
Dear Alastair,
These are from Colocasia e. esculenta, called Dasheen in the W.I., and I`d
bet were imported from Jamaica where it is extensively grown and exported.
You may see several different 'forms' of these rhizomes over a period of
time, as they seem to mature at different times. Here in Florida I`ve seen
several, one has the visible 'rings' or scars around the roundish tuber,
while another has more 'trunk-like' rhizomes, sometimes Y-shaped. Do not
confuse these with the smaller, more egg-shaped tubers of C.E. antiquorum,
commonly called 'Eddoes', grown and exported mainly from Florida, and not
favored by the Jamaicans. These are found in Indian ('Arvi') and
Thai/Vietnamese Groceries. Try cooking and eating them, treat as you would
potatos! I made a Shepherd`s pie with Dasheen topping for my talk on
edible Aroids a couple years ago, it went over well with the folks! Some
var.`s become white when peeled and cooked, others are greyish blue ('blue
metal' in T`dad, the best tasting var.).
These forms of Colocasia that produce a tuber may be more difficult to
cultivate in cool/cold climates, as they may require a longer growing season
than the stolon-producing var.`s.
Good luck!

From: "E.T." tomere at club-internet.fr> on 1999.10.05 at 22:49:48(3700)
Very common at china town in Paris too. It's Colocasia esculenta.

Alastair Robinson a ?crit:

From: Diana Pederson plantaholic at surfree.com> on 1999.10.06 at 02:14:31(3703)
I just acquired a plant the florist called a "red velvet philodendron".
Can someone give me the
proper name please.

From: Alastair Robinson Alastair_R at compuserve.com> on 1999.10.07 at 22:25:58(3715)
I'd like to extend a gracious "Thank You" to all those who responded to my
post - the information that you were kind enough to provide has been most
helpful, and certainly much more than I would have expected!

Warmest Regards,


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