Understanding the Difference Between Taro and Eddoe

As a decision-maker in the food and beverage industry, you’re constantly on the lookout for unique and versatile produce to delight your customers. Enter Eddoe, the more resilient little sister of a Taro. These two root vegetables might look similar but offer distinct differences and benefits. These tubers could be a game changer in your inventory. 

What are Taro and Eddoe?

Taro and Eddoe are both tuberous vegetables belonging to the Araceae family, known for their starchy, nutty flavour. These roots differ in appearance, cultivation, and culinary applications despite their surface-level similarities.

Appearance

What does a Taro look like?

  • Size: Larger, often weighing up to several pounds.
  • Shape: Oblong or oval with rough, hairy skin.
  • Colour: Brown skin with white or purple-flecked flesh.

What does an Eddoe look like?

  • Size: Smaller, typically the size of a small potato.
  • Shape: Rounder with a smoother, less hairy skin.
  • Colour: Brown skin with creamy white or pinkish flesh.

Cultivation and Origin

How is Taro grown?

  • Origin: Likely originating in Southeast Asia and India. One of the oldest cultivated crops, used for over 5,000 years.
  • Growth Conditions: Prefers wet, marshy environments; often grown in paddy fields similar to rice.
  • Cultural Impact: Integral to Hawaiian cuisine (poi) and revered in Pacific Islander cultures.

How is Eddoe grown?

  • Origin: Believed to have originated from China or Japan.
  • Growth Conditions: Thrives in well-drained, fertile soil; more adaptable to various climates compared to taro.
  • Cultural Impact: As noted in “The Useful Native Plants of Australia” book in 1889 “Hindoos [sic.] and Mahometans [sic.] are very fond of all parts of the plants of this genus.” (Dymock.) “When the crop is gathered in Fiji,” says Dr. Seemann (Flora Vtliensis), ” the tops of the tubers are cut off and at once replanted. The young leaves may be eaten like spinach, but, like the root, they require to be well cooked in order to destroy the acridity peculiar to aroideous plants. The Fijians prefer eating the cooked Taro when cold; Europeans as a rule like it quite hot, and, if possible, roasted.”

Taste and Texture

What does Taro taste like?

  • Taste: Mild, nutty flavour with a hint of sweetness.
  • Texture: Creamy and starchy when cooked, similar to potatoes.

What does Eddoe taste like?

  • Taste: Earthier, slightly sweet with a nuttier flavour.
  • Texture: Firmer and less starchy than taro, and retains more structure when cooked.

Culinary Uses

What to use Taro in:

  • Cuisine: Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, Southeast Asian.
  • Popular Dishes: Poi (mashed taro), taro chips, taro bubble tea.
  • Best Dishes to Showcase: Taro Chips—a crispy, salty snack alternative to potato chips. Poi—a traditional Hawaiian dish made from mashed taro root, perfect for cultural cuisine menus.

What to use Eddoe in:

  • Cuisine: Chinese, Japanese, Caribbean.
  • Popular Dishes: Stewed eddoe, eddoe curry, roasted eddoe.
  • Best Dishes to Showcase: Eddoe Curry—a rich, flavourful dish that pairs well with rice or roti. Roasted Eddoe—a simple, roasted with herbs and spices, a great side dish or appetizer.
Taro
Larger, often weighing up to several pounds.
Oblong or oval
rough, hairy skin.
Brown skin with white or purple-flecked flesh.
Mild, nutty flavour with a hint of sweetness.
Creamy and starchy texture when cooked
Used in Poi (mashed taro), taro chips, and taro bubble tea.
Rich in dietary fiber, vitamin E, and magnesium.
Grown in a moist and warm climate
originating in Southeast Asia and India.

Eddoe
Smaller, the size of a small potato
Rounder
smoother, less hairy skin.
Brown skin with creamy white or pinkish flesh.
Earthier, slightly sweet with a nuttier flavour.
Firmer and less starchy texture than taro
Used in eddoe curry & roasted eddoe.
High in potassium, vitamin C, and iron.
Grown in cooler and drier climates
originated from China or Japan.

Nutritional Comparison

Taro roots nutritional facts:

  • Calories: 142 per cup
  • Carbohydrates: 34 grams
  • Fiber: 7 grams
  • Protein: 2 grams
  • Rich in dietary fiber, vitamin E, and magnesium.

Eddoe roots nutritional facts:

  • Calories: 120 per cup
  • Carbohydrates: 29 grams
  • Fiber: 5 grams
  • Protein: 1 gram
  • High in potassium, vitamin C, and iron.

Why Choose Eddoe for Your Inventory?

  • Versatility: Eddoe’s firmer texture makes it suitable for a variety of dishes, from soups and stews to fries and bakes.
  • Nutritional Benefits: Packed with essential nutrients like potassium and vitamin C, it appeals to health-conscious consumers.
  • Culinary Trend: With increasing interest in global cuisines, Eddoe provides a unique ingredient for fusion dishes and exotic menu items.

Incorporating Eddoe into your inventory not only diversifies your product offerings but also taps into the growing demand for unique and nutritious ingredients. Whether you’re a grocery store, restaurant, or produce wholesaler, Eddoe’s versatility, taste, and health benefits make it a worthy addition to your lineup. Make the switch today and watch your customers savor the difference!

Ready to add eddoes to your inventory? Contact our sales team for bulk orders and start offering your customers the exciting flavours of this unique root vegetable!

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