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Taro - Fuzzy and Yummy

"Hi! Can I get a taro bubble tea with tapioca please, thank you!"

If I’m visiting a Bubble Tea Shop this is probably my go-to selection after mango. Two things I want to talk about today.

What is taro?

Taro is a vegetable root which is found in West Africa, Caribbean, South and East Asia, and South America. It is like a potato where you can fry, bake, boil or even steam it. Just make sure you peel off its hairy skin.

It's packed with a lot of good vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin E and A, folic acid, riboflavin, potassium, iron, and magnesium. Oh! And I forgot to mention it's also gluten-free for all of my friends with celiac disease.

Reflection on the Importance of Cultural Competence

I was working with this one patient from the Caribbean and he was talking to me about how Dasheen was so expensive now and he misses eating it. At first, I’m like WTF is Dasheen. I have a lot of friends from the Caribbean and I ain't ever heard about Dasheen. So, I’m intrigued, I asked a couple of questions and boom! “It’s this purple like yam, with dots, and the skin is brown and fury.”

Dasheen is Asu Koko which is Taro?! In my native language, Twi/Akan, Taro is know as Asu Koko; and there are soooo many other names. Cultural competency and cross-cultural communication are so important in ensuring your patients are receiving care tailored to them. So, if you don’t know what the food staple is or how it is prepared, get to Googling, pull out your smartphone, and show clients/patients photos. Get with the program so we're all on the same page!


Usually my mother cuts it into slices and fries it in some oil (which I love). I included a link to a Taro Fries recipe that I found and tried out that is a little less heavy on the frying.

So try it! Let me know how it went and your thoughts on this think piece.


Boakye, A. A., Wireko-Manu, F. D., Oduro, I., Ellis, W. O., Gudjónsdóttir, M., & Chronakis, I. S. (2018). Utilizing cocoyam ( xanthosoma sagittifolium ) for food and nutrition security: A review. Food Science & Nutrition, 6(4), 703-713. doi:10.1002/fsn3.602

Eneh, C. (2013). Towards food security and improved nutrition in nigeria: Taro (colocacia antiquorum) grit as carbohydrate supplement in energy food drink. African Journal of Food Science, 7(10), 355-360. doi:10.5897/AJFS2013.1068

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