taro root + sugar

One thing I love about living in China is that I get introduced to all these new traditions. Last Thursday, September 19, was the Mid-Autumn Festival, otherwise known as the Moon Festival because of all the yummy mooncakes you traditionally consume. Well, there’s also this whole legend behind the festival, but I always associate the festival with mooncakes. Anyhow, apparently it’s also customary to eat taro, at least in Shanghai … something about how the name (芋头 / yù tóu) is pronounced in the dialect. Who knew?

130923 a

Taro is not the most delicious looking thing in the world. In fact, it looks rather disgusting and unappetizing. Although I’m Chinese, the first time I actually saw/ate a real taro was approximately two weeks ago. I’ve had taro puffs many times before (they’re deep-fried pastries with mashed taro and ground pork filling) because they’re common fare for dim sum, but I can’t really say that by eating those I’d experienced real taro.

I’ve never prepared it myself because I’ve heard it’s a bit of a hassle. When it’s raw, the outside can be really irritating to your skin. But after you wash it really well, you boil it.

130923 b

Let them cool off a bit, then peel them. The outside comes off fairly easy, and then the little things look like naked mole rats (IMHO).

130923 c

Get a bowl of sugar, and while the taro root is still warm, dip and eat. Yum. It’s not my favorite snack in the world (I’m still a Cheetos and chips kinda girl) but it’s by far one of the healthier snacks even taking into account the sugar. Then again … I use a lot of sugar.