Taro

Taro is a starchy root crop with edible leaves and has provided good nutrition to Pacific Islanders for hundreds of years.

It is known by several names; taro, talo, dalo. Varieties of taro vary in colour and size.

Taro is not grown commercially in New Zealand and all supplies are imported from the Pacific Islands.

What to look for

When taro is fresh the skin looks healthy and slightly moist. Avoid taro with dry or soft patches on the skin.

Availability

All year.

Store

Store in a cool dark, well ventilated place.

How to prepare

Avoid possible itchy skin by wearing kitchen gloves when preparing.

Taro root: Wash well. It can be scraped and peeled but leave the skin on if possible. Cut into similar sized pieces so that they will cook at the same rate. Cook well to prevent allergic reactions.
Taro leaves: Trim stalks, remove thick veins. Wash well. Taro leaves must be cooked thoroughly to eliminate toxins. Boiling; bring to the boil, drain then reboil in fresh water.

Ways to eat

Taro can be boiled, steamed, or oven-baked, however, must be cooked thoroughly to prevent mouth and throat itching caused by a substance in raw taro called calcium oxalate. The leaves have the same itching effect if not cooked properly. Boil taro, drain, then reboil in fresh water or coconut cream (diluted with milk if wished).

Cooking Methods

Taro: bake (root), boil, steam.

Nutrition

TARO, CORM Raw      
Nutrition Information        
Servings per package:        
Serving size: 1 cup sliced = 145 g      
  Average Quantity % Daily Intake per serve Average Quantity  
per serving per 100 g  
Energy (kJ/Cal) 698/167 8% 482/115  
Protein (g) 1.9 4% 1.3  
Fat, total (g) 0.4 1% 0.3  
 - saturated (g) 0.13 1% 0.09  
Available carbohydrate (g) 36.1 12% 24.9  
 - sugars (g) 3.2 4% 2.2  
Dietary Fibre (g) 4.5 15% 3.1 A good source of Dietary Fibre
Sodium (mg) 0 0% 0  
Folate (µg)  90 45% RDI* 62 A good source of Folate
Zinc (mg) 3.5 29% RDI* 2.4 A good source of Zinc
Niacin (mg) 2.1 21% RDI* 1.4 A source of Niacin
Riboflavin (mg) 0.19 11% RDI* 0.13 A source of Riboflavin
Thiamin (mg) 0.15 13% RDI* 0.10 A source of Thiamin
Vitamin B6 (mg) 0.32 20% RDI* 0.22 A source of Vitamin B6
Vitamin C (mg) 6 14% RDI* 4 A source of Vitamin C
Vitamin E (mg) 1.3 23% RDI* 1.61 A source of Vitamin E
Copper (mg) 0.4 12% ESADDI** 0.3 A source of Copper
Magnesium (mg) 57 18% RDI* 39 A source of Magnesium
Manganese (mg) 0.7 14% ESADDI** 0.5 A source of Manganese
Potassium (mg) 580   400 Contains Potassium
Iron (mg) 0.8 7% RDI* 0.6  
Percentage Daily Intakes are based on an average adult diet of 8700 kJ  
Your daily Intakes may be higher or lower depending on your energy needs  
 *Recommended Dietary Intake (Average Adult)
**Estimated Safe and Adequate Daily Dietary Intake
 
         
Source: FOODfiles 2016        

 

TARO, LEAF Raw      
Nutrition Information        
Servings per package:        
Serving size: 1 cup chopped = 50 g      
  Average Quantity % Daily Intake per serve Average Quantity  
per serving per 100 g  
Energy (kJ/Cal) 79/19 1% 158/38  
Protein (g) 2.6 5% 5.1  
Fat, total (g) 0.4 0% 0.8  
 - saturated (g) 0.09 0% 0.19  
Available carbohydrate (g) 0.4 0% 0.7  
 - sugars (g) 0.3 0% 0.7  
Dietary Fibre (g) 1.9 6% 3.7  
Sodium (mg) 2 0% 3  
Folate (µg)  63 32% RDI* 126 A good source of Folate
Vitamin A Equiv. (µg) 285 38% RDI* 570 A good source of Vitamin A
Vitamin C (mg)  45 113% RDI* 90  
Magnesium (mg) 96 30% RDI* 192 A good source of Magnesium
Niacin (mg) 1.5 15% RDI* 3.0 A source of Niacin
Riboflavin (mg) 0.20 11% RDI* 0.39 A source of Riboflavin
Thiamin (mg) 0.08 7% RDI* 0.15 A source of Thiamin
Vitamin B6 (mg) 0.25 16% RDI* 0.5 A source of Vitamin B6
Vitamin E (mg) 1.15 12% RDI* 2.3 A source of Vitamin E
Calcium (mg) 108 14% RDI* 216 A source of Calcium
Iron (mg) 1.4 11% RDI* 2.7 A source of Iron
Manganese (mg) 0.9 18% ESADDI** 1.8 A source of Manganese
Potassium (mg)  422   843 Contains Potassium
Zinc (mg) 0.5 4% RDI* 0.9  
Percentage Daily Intakes are based on an average adult diet of 8700 kJ   
Your daily Intakes may be higher or lower depending on your energy needs  
 *Recommended Dietary Intake (Average Adult)
**Estimated Safe and Adequate Daily Dietary Intake
 
         
Source: FOODfiles 2016        

Retailing

Customers may not know how to use taro, so use the QR code on labels. Talk to Pacific Island customers for ideas.

Store at 7-10°C with a relative humidity of 85-95%. Lower temperatures can cause chilling damage.

Recipes

White taro with coconut water and spring onions
White taro with coconut water and spring onions

A tasty starchy dish - ideal to serve with grilled meats and chicken. View Recipe

View more Recipes

Images

For these images and many more please visit our image library.