Taro is the name given to a number of starchy roots that are staples throughout the tropics. Taro typically has brown skin and white or lavender flesh that tastes like potato. The best tasting taro variety has a distinctive ring of color at the base of the stem. The flavor and texture of all taro varieties are superior to that of the yam, with which it is sometime confused.
The taro "corm" can be roasted, boiled, fried, and otherwise treated much like a potato. The young leaves are also edible. Taro contains calcium oxalate crystals, so it must always be boiled to remove the crystals before other preparation.
Market and storage tips Select firm roots, heavy for their size, with no soft spots or blemishes.
Cooking Peel before or after cooking. Boil or steam as for a pototato. To bake, first boil the unpeeled root in water to cover for 15 minutes. Then bake as for a potato, but do not exceed 375° F. Serve taro hot, as the flesh becomes sticky when cool.