Taro (aka talo, dalo and dago)
Origin: hot, humid tropics of the Indo-Malayan region
Plant: Sept – Oct only
Harvest: July – August when the leaves begin to look tatty and about 3 leaves left. The corm is harvested 8-10 months after planting. Starchy corms are a good source of calcium and iron. Wash the taro after harvesting and allow to dry. Harvested taro corms can be stored in a dry airy place for 2 – 3 weeks at most. After this time they will rot. Roast or cook whole to preserve nutrients. Poi is a lactic ferment made from boiled taro corms. The leaves can be picked 2-4 weeks after planting and take about 6 weeks to mature. They can be boiled, pulverised in a blender then added to soups, casseroles and stir-fries. They are traditionally used as food wraps and cooked in a mumu or cooking pit. Young leaves will take 5-10 minutes to cook while older ones 15-20 minutes before the oxalate crystals have been rendered neutral. Can be frozen.