Definition of taro in English:

taro

Pronunciation /ˈterō/ /ˈtɛroʊ/

noun

  • 1A tropical Asian plant of the arum family which has edible starchy corms and edible fleshy leaves, especially a variety with a large central corm grown as a staple in the Pacific.

    Colocasia esculenta variety 'esculenta', family Araceae

    ‘In the early part of the 1800s, the area was extensively planted with maize, potatoes, kumara, taro, calabashes, melons and pumpkins.’
    Also called dasheen
    Compare with eddo
    • ‘Land was divided into slices running from the mountains to the sea, within which commoners hunted pigs in the forests; grew taro, a major food source, in irrigated terraces; and constructed coastal fish ponds.’
    • ‘In Tuvalu, farmers once dug pits in the sandy soil, filled them with compost and planted taro, but now in low-lying areas, increasingly brackish water is poisoning these root crops.’
    • ‘In low-lying areas, the country's water is so salty that many farmers now grow taro in tin-lined containers or concrete-lined planting beds.’
    • ‘About three hundred varieties of taro are known to have existed in Hawaii.’
    • ‘With a larger pond, you can have lilies or tiger lotus, maybe some taro or umbrella palm that will help shade the pond surface.’
    • ‘People note that banana trees are not producing many fruits, and yams, taro and sweet potato are similarly affected.’
    • ‘They cut trees for canoes and dug garden plots for the plants they had carefully transported from Polynesia - taro, banana, yam, coconut.’
    • ‘The leaves of the taro can also be cooked and eaten, in the same way as spinach.’
    • ‘I also plant Taro in a bog area, or a damp area.’
    • ‘Taro can be grown in paddy fields or in upland situations where watering is supplied by rainfall or by supplemental irrigation.’
    1. 1.1The corm of the taro plant.
      ‘In W. Africa, where both taro and malanga are staple foods, next in importance only to cassava and yams, they are known as ‘old’ and ‘new cocoyam’.’
      • ‘In rural areas, people provide much of their own food through fishing, animal husbandry, and gardening of indigenous staple foods such as taro, breadfruit, sweet potatoes, and manioc.’
      • ‘Calaloo (a green, leafy vegetable that is served cooked) is sometimes combined with taro, dasheen, or tania leaves, okra, pumpkin, and crab to make a dish called calaloo and crab.’
      • ‘The most popular Asian flavourings are taro (a starchy potato-like root vegetable) and sesame (yes, like those on your bagel).’
      • ‘In the US they call them dasheen, taro, cocoyams and also malanga.’
      • ‘Bananas, pineapples, taro, peanuts, manioc, cassava, rice, and bread are the staples.’
      • ‘Staples of the diet remain taro, breadfruit, bananas, coconuts, papayas, mangoes, some chicken, pork, canned corned beef and seafood.’
      • ‘Before contact with the West, staple foods included yam, taro, banana, coconut, sugarcane, tropical nuts, greens, pigs, fowl, and seafood.’
      • ‘Early Hawaiians relied on taro as a staple starch in their diet.’
      • ‘Finally, she says, it's exciting to have had first-hand experience with tropical agriculture by sampling breadfruit, taro, fresh coconut milk, and lychees just picked from a tree.’
      • ‘Other commercial activity is heavily agriculture-based: the manufacture for export of coconut cream, taro, passion fruit, limes, and honey.’
      • ‘‘Basi yunai’ (sugar-wrapped taro) is cooked over the fire with taro and sesame in melted sugar, which creates a transparent golden crust with a caramel flavour.’
      • ‘Early garden crops - many of which are indigenous - included sugarcane, Pacific bananas, yams, and taros, while sago and pandanus were two commonly exploited native forest crops.’
      • ‘Yams, taro, bananas and coconuts are also cultivated, but a reliance on sago means that the production of it remains a major practice of village life.’
      • ‘Women tended the pigs, planted the staple crop of sweet potatoes and other foodstuffs such as greens and taro (a starch), and weeded and harvested the garden plot.’
      • ‘They also grow taro and yams, bananas, ginger, tobacco and colorful cucumbers.’
      • ‘Uchideshi life back then consisted of rising before the sun to pray, training, and eating two meals a day of rice porridge with sweet potato or taro.’
      • ‘The deep-fried vegetable rolls filled with taro and sesame seeds are similar to sushi.’
      • ‘The starch component, which is referred to as ‘real food,’ is usually taro, yams, sweet potatoes, or manioc but may consist of tree crops such as breadfruit, bananas, and nuts.’
      • ‘The staple food is the sweet potato, introduced from Indonesia about 300 years ago; other crops are yams, bananas, taro, sugar cane and greens of various kinds.’

Origin

Mid 18th century of Polynesian origin.