A flavorful, starchy tuber that can range in shape from a small and kidney-shaped variety to a larger barrel shaped root, similar to a sweet potato. With a length that can vary from less than 5 inches to over 12 inches, Taro is typically covered with a brown, hairy skin covering a smooth flesh that may be very white, grayish-white or cream colored and is sometimes marked with small dark specks. Taro can be cooked in the same manner as a potato, including baking, boiling, frying, steaming, and sautéing, and has a nut-like, potato flavor. The larger Taro Roots have a sweeter flavor but are drier than the smaller roots. They are eaten as a vegetable or added to soups and stews. Taro is a key ingredient in Hawaiian Poi.
Taro is available throughout the year in both specialty stores and general food markets. When selecting, choose those that are firm and do not have shriveled skins or show signs of mold. Store in a cool dry place for up to three or four days. Do not store in the refrigerator. When purchased in a food store, the root may be coated with edible wax, which helps to preserve this tuber for several weeks or longer periods of time, depending on the method of storage.