Taro leaf, sometimes called “elephant ear” for its shape, is a broad, heart-shaped leaf that grows up to 20 by 40 centimetres in size. The leaves are dark green and smooth on the top and light green on the underside. The veins and stem of the plant can have a light reddish-purple colour. When cooked, taro leaves are tender and have a mild, nutty flavour with a slightly metallic, iron taste similar to spinach.
While taro leaves are native to Southeast Asia and Southern India, they are found today in fresh markets throughout Asia, Polynesia, the Cook Islands, the Caribbean and tropical Africa. The leaf has many names including malanga, keladi, alu, dasheen, taloes, tayer, gabi, avi, colcas, kalo, luau and amateke.
Did you know…
There are 87 varieties of taro around the world.
The taro plant can grow up to 3 metres in height.
Both the leaves and the root of the taro plant are used for medicinal applications.
With 87 varieties around the world, taro is a staple food for over 10% of the Earth’s population.
Its Latin name is Colocasia esculenta