Did you know

05 Jan 2023

Did You Know? Kolokasi

Kolokasi (Taro) is a root vegetable known as Colocasia Esculanta. One of the most popular Cypriot dishes cooked in tomato sauce either on its own or with pork meat. Taro is found in African, Oceanic, and South Asian cultures (similar to yams) and is believed to be one of the earliest cultivated plants. In Cyprus, Colocasia has been in use since the Roman Empire.

"Baby" kolokasi is called "poulles": after being fried dry, red wine and coriander seed are added, and then it is served with freshly squeezed lemon. Lately, some restaurants have begun serving thin slices of kolokasi deep fried, calling them "kolokasi chips".

In Australia, Colocasia esculenta var. aquatilis is thought to be native to the Kimberley region of Western Australia;In Europe, Colocasia esculenta is only cultivated in Cyprus and is certified as a PDO product. In Turkey, it is locally known as gölevez and mainly grown on the Mediterranean coast, in Antalya Province and the Anamur district of Mersin Province. In the southeastern United States, this plant is recognized as an invasive species growing near drain ditches and bayous in Houston, Texas. At around 3.3 million metric tons per year, Nigeria is the largest producer of taro in the world.

In the Azores taro is known as inhame or inhame-coco and is commonly steamed with potatoes, vegetables and meats or fish. The leaves are sometimes cooked into soups and stews. It is also consumed as a dessert after first being steamed and peeled, then fried in vegetable oil or lard, and finally sprinkled with sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Taro grows abundantly in the fertile land of the Azores, as well as in creeks that are fed by mineral springs. Through migration to other countries, the inhame is found in the Azorean diaspora.

The ‘Did You Know’ series is made possible with the support of OPAP (Cyprus).

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