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Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Taste test: taro chips

I'm a huge taro fan. Taro bubble tea, taro-filled dumpling buns and especially ube spongecake--an essential ingredient to any Filipino birthday party.

Taro chips, though, are another story. I recall a purchase of a bag of taro chips in Vietnam which, upon tasting, were shoved down the side of a bus seat with an accompanying shudder. Cut like shoe-string chips, they tasted like taro cardboard but left a lingering film of palm oil on the tongue. It was all just wrong wrong wrong. Jackfruit chips good. Taro chips bad.

And then I discovered these taro babies at Thai Kee the other day. Right next to the banana rolls. And those rolls were gooood.....

So I paid my $2.80 (and picked up another box of banana rolls whilst I was in the neighbourhood, you know) for a camera-snapping taste test.

Oh what cute waffle-like shapes! Flecks of dark purple. Golden brown. Delicate yet manly. Oh yes, they're in touch with their feminine side, but they're still tough enough to be shoved in by the handful.

The taste?

Like sweet deep-fried cardboard with palm oil residue.

Oh no. Deja vu. Not the palm oil residue! Me no likey. Nothing worse than a cold McDonalds limp french fry with an overcoat of solidified grease (and yes, I know, apparently Macca's are all like vegetable oil these days, not chub-a-lub lard anymore).

I was devastated. I really wanted to like you. But I think I've figured it out. It's like I have a sugar crowd of friends, and I have my savoury mates. I think you're a sugar friend.

It's not you. It's me.

We'll just hang out with sucrose and dairy ok?
14 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Anonymous on 8/17/2005 11:35:00 pm


  • At 8/18/2005 12:57 am, Blogger Nic said…

    I guess you can't win 'em all. They did look promising, though.

  • At 8/18/2005 3:56 am, Blogger sarah j. gim said…

    LOL! thanks for some morning entertainment, AG!

  • At 8/18/2005 5:00 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi AG,
    never heard of Taro before... The chips look sooo nice (I always fall for waffle-like shaped chips) - sorry to hear, they were rather disappointing!

  • At 8/18/2005 2:20 pm, Blogger tytty said…

    I guess maybe some people grew up with that "cardboard" flavour and appreciate it as so? hmm..

    anyway, you must also like the crispy yam/taro they serve at dim sum places?

  • At 8/18/2005 2:21 pm, Blogger eat stuff said…

    lol that was hilarious AG :) hehhehehhe
    *giggle all the way home!*

  • At 8/18/2005 7:22 pm, Blogger Kelly said…

    Too bad these tasted nasty, because they looked so good! I have to admit I am not the biggest taro fan. you would like it in Singapore where the burger joints sell taro pies (just like hot apple pies)!

  • At 8/19/2005 1:17 am, Blogger Unknown said…

    I'm sorry you haven't found a good taro chips yet. I've actually had some really good ones here in Japan (me also big taro fan). BTW the dessert mentioned by pseudo chef is super good. I've only had it a couple of times in Singapore but still think it about now and then...

  • At 8/19/2005 2:36 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    They're making taro everythings nowdays. Taro bread rolls, taro pies, taro chips, taro pudding. I'm not sure that the charm of the base ingredient can be transfered to other spin-off dishes. They claim that land for growing taro is scarce in Hawaii, but taro instead of being used exclusively for poi (a staple) is being glamorized in all shapes and forms. Incidentally, the leaves of the taro plant is usually steamed and tastes and looks much like spinach. The "waffle" shape of the taro chip though really appeals to the palate by looks at least.

  • At 8/19/2005 3:44 pm, Blogger obachan said…

    I have never had taro chips before, but I guess I've felt the same way about certain food before. Glad that you enjoyed the banana roll, at least.

  • At 8/19/2005 9:25 pm, Blogger Reid said…

    Hi AG,

    I love taro chips. I'm quite disappointed that you don't. Hmmmm. Maybe I can send you some. We get some really yummy ones here.

  • At 8/19/2005 9:48 pm, Blogger boo_licious said…

    I don't think I have tried taro chips before so I honestly can't tell you if it's good here.

    We eat taro quite a lot in Malaysia, savoury and sweet. I like it steamed with some dried prawns and fried shallots on top. We also have a dessert called bubur cha cha that sounds like what pseudochef mentioned and it has sweet potatoes and taro with coconut milk.

  • At 8/20/2005 3:39 pm, Blogger nicole said…

    Taro chips are big as snackfoods in the South Pacific, esp in Tonga, Samoa and Fiji - they're a substitute for potato chips I guess!

    In Tonga, I remember my friends cooking taro wedges and breadfruit wedges - YUM.

  • At 8/21/2005 3:54 am, Blogger Robyn said…

    Terra's spiced taro chips are my most favorite chips ever. MM, ADDICTIVE!

  • At 9/07/2005 1:07 am, Blogger krangsquared said…

    Hmmm... subject would like to like taro chips. Definitely likes jackfruit...Aha (lightbulb moment)! The next time you pass by an Asian grocery, look for this purple packet of dried fruit chips, containing dried jackfruit AND banana AND sweet potato AND taro. So in case taro fails to please, there's all these other flavors on hand.

    Ube isn't taro, is it? I always knew the "ube" in English as "purple yam". One of these days you'll have to check out ube ice cream! (Btw, it's spelt "Filipino". Non-intuitive, but that's how it is.)


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