In the United States, you can find just about anything you want deep fried. There are the battered ones of course: Fried chicken, corndogs, donuts, fried turkey, fried ice cream, fried butter, fried breakfast cereal, kids’ fruit-flavored sugar water, and just about anything else short of deep-fried brick on a stick. There are also the unbattered ones like potato chips, okra, green beans, beets, and other veggies.
Last week, I finished my lunch at work. It didn’t even get close to hitting the spot for lunch, and with my allergies, a trip through a drive thru somewhere is unsafe. I had an errand to run nearby, so I stopped in a health food store, hoping to get something like food I could grab and go. As usual, pickings were slim for someone with an allergy list that wipes out most of the aisles on the grocery store, but something odd caught my eye: taro chips.
Taro should not be confused with the deck of cards used by fortune tellers. Taro is a root vegetable common to the Pacific islands. I’d never had taro before, so I decided to be brave and get a small bag that had nothing more than taro, sunflower oil, and sea salt. That sounded pretty straightforward. I had most of the bag eaten by the time I got back to work.
Unfortunately, by the time I clocked in for work, I had obvious indications that taro was not going to be a safe food. Headache, runny nose, tingling and burning sensation in my throat… all indications that taro would be good for other people. That was really very unfortunate, since they were rather tasty.
Taro Root picture courtesy of SOMMAI at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
My bird enjoyed the rest of them that night, and now I know that if I ever make it back to a Pacific island for a vacation, taro is a local food to avoid.