This island sleeper is worth rooting out
Visitors to a Hawaiian luau usually come away with two impressions: the pit-roast pig is amazing, and poi tastes like library paste. But the ingredient that is beaten up to make poi ― taro ― is another story. In other forms it’s very easy to like. A starchy, tuberous root (technically a corm), taro tastes much like a sweet potato, doesn’t fall apart when cooked, and soaks up flavor like a sponge.
Hundreds of varieties of Colocasia esculenta grow around the world, often beyond the tropical latitudes where the plant originated.
One important detail: Don’t eat, or even peel, taro raw. It contains crystals of calcium oxalate, an irritant deactivated by heat. So blanch in boiling water before peeling, then cook.
This casserole for lazy cooks isn’t a dish you’d find at a luau, but it does bring pork and taro together in a flavorsome way.