Taro is a staple food of Pacific Islanders and East Asians, who grow the plant for its starchy underground stems (tubers) and edible leaves. It was first brought to New Zealand by Māori and grown in northern districts, but now fresh taro is imported from the Pacific Islands. Uncooked taro tubers contain poisons that irritate the membranes of the mouth and throat. The tubers need to be peeled and well cooked before they are eaten.
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Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand
Photograph by Margaret Lovell-Smith
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