Inspired by 'poi'. Where can I buy organic taro?

Answered on January 02, 2015
Created December 20, 2013 at 8:52 PM

I've been intrigued by the many root tubers and corms peoples around the world eat. Recently, I've read about poi in Hawaiian cuisine. Organic taro doesn't seem terribly widespread outside of Hawaii or East Asia, though. Any ideas where to obtain organic taro within the U.S.?

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3 Answers


on January 02, 2015
at 01:56 PM

If in the Middle East, taro can be found under the name Qolqas (pronounced kol-kass) or in Egyptian Arabic as 'Ol-'as (pronounced ole-ass like ass as in donkey; since Egyptians don't pronounce the Arabic letter Qof). They are also known in some Indian languages as Arvi root or Alvi root (pronounce the 'v' as a w'; so 'Ar-wee' or 'Al-wee'). Other people in Florida or places in the Mainland U.S. call it Elephant-Ear root.

I'd recommend you look at the roots you do find; even if the label says taro- there are different types of taro plants, and not all of them are good for poi (some for their leaves and baby leaves, some for frying or baking, etc).


I'm Hawaiian.


on December 21, 2013
at 06:27 AM

I don't know about America but in the UK taro is commonly found in South Asian, Caribbean, African and East Asian grocery shops. My city has a lot of those so so I can easily get it. Even Tescos sometimes has taro! Not sure about organic, but hopefully similar shops in America should have it.



on December 21, 2013
at 04:58 AM

I came to really love taro when we lived on the Big Island of Hawaiii. Poi was brought in fresh from Oahu on Thursdays and people would line up at the grocery store to wait for it. Fresh poi tastes sweet like refried beans. It sours as it aged. You could buy fresh taro at the store and cook it up like potato-it was Ono (delicious). But, I've never seen it here on the mainland and I miss it. Breadfruit, too.

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