Monday, December 6, 2010

You can try new foods, but don't eat Taro raw!

My husband and I enjoy adventures in the kitchen, as in we like to try new things to eat, new recipes, and enjoy cooking together, drawing from all food cultures around the world. While shopping at different grocery stores we therefore often pick things up we’ve never tried before: strange fruits or vegetables, funny looking dishes, odd seafood or meat (camel, anyone?), strange cheeses, or anything else we might find. Most often, we look up on the web whatever we picked up before attempting to prepare or eat it. On Saturday however, Courtney pulled out the Taro root as soon as we got home from TSC, excited to try it; peeled it, cut off a big piece, and ate it. Moments later he thought he was having a severe allergic reaction. He said his tongue, throat, and stomach burned like needles. He started feeling strange, woozy, and tried to throw up, but couldn’t. (I tried this some time ago after I accidentally ate raw egg yolk from a rotten egg, but couldn’t do it either. It’s really hard to make yourself throw up! I have no idea how those young model girls do it.) In any case, a few clicks on the web later and we learned that Taro has a chemical in it that is broken down during cooking, and if prepared properly, Taro is perfectly harmless. If eaten raw however, the chemical will hurt you, and can hurt you very badly. I licked a piece of the root just to confirm, and indeed, soon my tongue was burning too. (I know, one of our less smarter moments, but hey, we’re curious creatures!)

Courtney felt just fine the next day, and perhaps he was a lesson wiser too. What did we learn? Never to put things you don’t know what they are in your mouth.

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