Taro in Japan and the Pacific Islands

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

The type of taro commonly eaten in Japan is the small, round variety which is known as eddo in England. The Japanese name satoimo consists of sato meaning ‘village’ or ‘hamlet’ and imo, which is the generic term for edible, farinaceous tubers and tuberous roots. Since the sweet potato did not reach Japan till the 17th century, and the potato even later, the Japanese satoimo was the most important tuber for a long time. It has been widely cultivated in the southern half of Japan, where the climate is favourable, resulting in many local varieties (of which one of the best known is ebiimo of Kyoto).