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Fenghua Taro
2019-08-28Text Size: A A A

Another special local food is the taro of Fenghua, which is well known both at home and abroad.

Fenghua has a 700-year history of planting taros. According to the Annals of Fenghua County compiled in 1773, Fenghua taro was introduced from Japan. Cooked taros can be made into bricks for houses and kept for dozens of years without turning rotten.

There is a story about the taro bricks. An indulgent rich man had a prodigal son who did nothing but gambling, drinking and frequenting brothels. The rich man feared that his son might end up in death from starvation after he passed away. So he had an idea that he would build a house of taro bricks. After he finished the house, he told his son that the house was edible and he could sell every belongings but never the house! The father's words turned out to be true. The "house" finally saved his life in a year of crop failure and also the lives of all villagers.

There are many types of taros. Those growing in dry fields are called dry taros and those growing in water fields are called water taros. A taro can weigh 1-3 kilos. They are generally in season in early August.

There are many cooking methods, like steaming, roasting, frying, slicing, etc. It can also be made into taro paste or soup. It tastes like Chinese chestnut when steamed and like tremella. Duck cooked with taro is a famous dish, often eaten at the Mid-Autumn Festival.

The Fenghua taro was very popular in Shanghai in the 1930s. Ningbo people overseas will often take some taros back when they visit their hometown.

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