The Barney of Potatoes (aka “Taro”)

In between thoughts of generally deciding what to eat, which I spend a lot of time doing, I also have deeper thoughts like what exactly is taro root (oh, so it's a root).

The only reason it’s got me thinking is that taro in my eyes has crossed the potato line. A line has been crossed when it went from baked, boiled, roasted and more recently I’ve accepted it as bread although I’m still resistant to trying it as a drink.

85c’s top selling marbled taro bread – image 85c Bakery

Drink More Potato

First time I saw a drink with a potato in it was in Korea, or more specifically a sweet potato latte. That incident yielded several pictures and probably a facebook post, but the earliest experience was as a young wee lad on vacation in Hawaii. That’s where I had my first taste of pasty a** poi, the second was at the Taiwanese bakery 85c and their purple swirled taro bread, and the other which i haven’t yet tried, is taro bubble tea. This is the one that got me thinking “how is it that there’s some form of potato in it and why?” Is there somehow bits of potato mixed in with tea? I know most probably have no clue or care what’s in it, but I just got to know because I highly doubt in Ireland, the land where most Murican’s often associate with the potato have any sort of non-alcholic drink made from potato. I specify non-alcoholic because the Polish and Russians are synonmous with vodka and the Koreans and Japanese have soju and shochu all made with potato (not necessarily taro though).

So how much taro is in a taro bubble tea smoothie? According to Angel Wongs video on how to make a taro bubble tea smoothie in which she uses real freak’n taro, it’s one, 1″ cube.

Camel’s Hump

The part of the taro plant most often consumed is called the corm which is the fat bulbous part (now I know this years halloween costume contender). It’s the part that hides out underground and is what typically keeps the plant alive, so I wonder if you can liken it to a camel’s hump?

Yup, that’s what the corm looks like. Image from Wikipedia.

Ihame to Satoimo

Taro is everywhere, from China, Egypt, Costa Rica, Europe, to Japan. It’s done a great job at making its way around the worlds cuisine. The ones you’ll probably be most familiar with may probably be taro cake (Chinese), and I think the most common way would be in stews as a potato substitute becauase taro is higher in fiber and lower in calories in comparison. As for in a drink or smoothie form, I could only find Vietnam being cited for it although I’m sure Taiwan might have had something to do with this flavor?

In Japan, it’s served as a simmered dish or “satoimo no nimono” (imo = potato/yam, nimono = simmered). If you’re looking to prepare this vegan/halaal compliant dish here’s a couple recipes:


Typically a nimono consists of shoyu and sake with a sweetener such as sugar or mirin.

I Love You, You Love Me

It’s almost lunchtime, and I’m hungry although if I’m going for a liquid diet with potatoes in it, I’m going with vodka. Zazdarovje!

1 comment

  1. Ah! I love taro. It’s not nearly as widely spread in America, which is sad, especially since the flavor of taro is actually quite different from potatoes. It’s much sweeter, in my opinion, but not quite like a sweet potato. Grr. I can’t describe it. Either way, I love taro froyo. It’s delicious and I wish more places offered that flavor! ^.^

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