Taro is a root vegetable with edible leaves and is known by many names. Different varieties of Taro exist, consisting of different sizes and colors. Taro is found mostly in the Pacific Islands and is imported across the world.
Taro has white flesh, an earthy taste, resembling that of the potatoes or chestnut. It can only be eaten after cooking, as it is toxic when eaten raw. Taro flesh turns purple, grey, or yellow while cooking and can be used in recipes to replace potatoes. Taro is best served hot as it develops an unpleasant texture after it turns cold.
How To Store Taro
Taro is usually the size of a sweet potato or yam with an interior color like coconut. Hence, sometimes it is also called cocoyam. Taro is a kind of vegetable that does not last for very long. Therefore, it is best to cook and consume Taro before it gets spoiled.
It is necessary to keep Taro in a suitable environment to get the best of it until you have finished the last piece. It can only be done if you are well aware of storing your vegetable and enjoying it until the very end.
The most important factor needed to be taken into account for storing purposes is the quality of the vegetable you choose. Good quality food lasts better and longer as compared to the poor quality ones. Choose a heavy and firm Taro for its size, especially the ends of it should not contain any soft spots, wrinkles, or signs of mold. Avoid Taro with bruises and blemishes.
Avoid hot places
Taro tends to turn soft quickly at relatively high temperatures. Keep fresh Taro in paper bags at room temperature, make sure the place you are storing them is away from heat sources and has a relatively cool environment and good ventilation. Do not keep Taro inside the refrigerator.
Keep in the pantry
The best place to keep Taro is in the root cellar or a pantry. Even so, it is recommended not to leave Taro unattended and use it as soon as possible. It is because the vegetable itself has a short shelf life and needs to be consumed quickly.
However, taro leaves can be stored in the refrigerator. Just wrap them in a damp paper towel and keep them inside a perforated plastic bag before storing them in the fridge.
Can You Freeze Taro
Although Taro cannot be refrigerated, it can be frozen if you wish to keep it for longer use. However, Taro needs to be blanched first before freezing. Wash and peel taro; wear gloves when you are peeling because you would not want its skin to irritate yours. Cut Taro into inch-long chunks.
Place the chunks in boiling water for five minutes and then transfer immediately to ice-cold water; add more ice per requirement until taro chunks are completely cooled off. Dry the chunks, transfer them into the freezer bag, and put them in the freezer immediately after sealing.
How Long Does Taro Last
As mentioned in prior headings, Taro itself does not have a very long shelf life. Therefore, it isn’t easy to handle Taro if you have bought a lot of it at a single time. You might have to freeze more than half of it or use it within 3 to 4 days. Ideally, stored Taro in a root cellar, under cool temperature, and good air ventilation will last for up to seven days at maximum.
Taro bought fresh from the market and kept at room temperature in an open paper bag will last for two or at most three days at room temperature. When kept in the freezer, frozen Taro can be kept for a month or two. These shelf lives are estimated and may not be the same for every kind of Taro. Hence, use it in your dishes as soon as you can.
How To Tell If Taro Is Bad
Eating food that has spoiled can cause many health issues; it is better to look for food that has gone bad and throw it before it harms you. Taro can go bad sooner than you have expected it to. Hence, it is necessary to keep checking if it is still good or not. Some of the signs Taro shows when it has gone bad include:
- Color: If taro flesh turns brown from white, it means that it has gone bad.
- Appearance: Taro tends to turn soft when kept for long. If there are any dark spots on the skin, cut that part out to check the rest; if the flesh is still good, cook it immediately. If not, throw it away.
- Odor and mold: A foul odor and appearance of mold on Taro indicate Taro going bad.