The general name for a family of tropical tubers, and a staple in Asia, the Pacific Islands and West Indies. Brown skinned, their flesh ranges from white and pink to purple. Taro cannot be eaten raw as it contains indigestible substances, but these are neutralized after cooking. Like potato, taro can be boiled, steamed or used in soups and stews, but add at the end as they fall apart easily. Taro starch used in Asian cooking is similar to arrowroot. Some types of taro produce smaller corms called dasheen as well as the smaller cormel, eddo.