A Delicious Hawaiian Snack - Taro Chips
Taro chips are delicious hawaiian snacks made from a very culturally significant and traditional Hawaiian plant known as Taro. The taro root is also made into a traditional Hawaiian staple food known as poi. Taro chips are made by harvesting, washing and inspecting the taro, then slicing it very thiny before dropping it into canola oil for cooking. Canola oil does not contain any trans-fats, which have been gaining recognition for their apparent potential to build up in the body, making it a healthier alternative to many other popular potato chip cooking oils.Taro chips may be a slightly different color than you are used to seeing in chips. Taro chips can be a rich purplish brown and have notes of both sweetness and saltiness together. Taro chips can either be bought in their original form, cooked in canola oil and lightly salted, or in a variety of tasty different flavor blends. From BBQ to spicy jalapeno and garlic blends, taro chips boast high versatility just like more maintstream potato chips.
Special Considerations for Making Taro Chips
Taro root traditionally has to be handled with care, because of the possibility for common allergic skin reactions that people handlig raw taro can experience. For this reason, cultures that maintained taro as a staple food highly valued special individuals who were immune to this allergic reaction. Today, taro chip makers take special care to select strains of taro that are unlikely to cause itchiness during processing. Taro chips that you buy in bags ready to eat might give you a false sense of their production process. In fact, there's a lot of careful planning and intensive consideration that must go into planting taro correctly and processing it for making chips. Usually, the bottom of the taro plant is more valued for making chips because it is sligthly drier than the upper parts of the taro plant. Taro chips made from most varieties that are already known to be good for eating typically have a purplish color.
When taro chip makers go to work processing their taro, they must take great care to wash their hands with soap and warm water for at least 45 seconds before and after they handle the taro. This is to reduce the possibility of infection and allergic reactions. Once all the taro is harvested, cleaned and ready for the production of taro chips, manufacturers must ensure that all their surfaces and processing machinery is sterilized and super clean. This also reduces the risk of contamination and problems that can arise from unclean environments during the processing of taro chips. Taro chips are often cut about 3/64 of an inch thick and then dropped into a vat or small industrial fryer for cooking. Using canola oil heated to anywhere from 260-320 degrees Fahrenheit, the taro chips are cooked until crispy. The cooked taro chips are then removed from their cooking vessel and salted or flavored while still warm to ensure optimal penetration of the flavoring ingredients. Once they have slightly cooled they are ready to be weighed out and bagged individually.