Malanga Taro

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Malanga is comprised of a central underground corm that widely ranges in size and appearance, depending on the soil and growing conditions. The corms are generally oblong to cylindrical, tapering to blunt, curved edges, and they can often resemble the size, shape, and coloring of yams. The central corm is also surrounded by clusters of smaller corms known as cormels. These cormels share a similar appearance to the central corm but are typically smaller in size. The corm's skin is thin but tough, rough, and hard, found in variegated hues of gray-brown, brown, to light brown with patches of root hairs, scaling, nodes, and woody elements. Underneath the surface, the solid, dense flesh is white, yellow, to pale red, depending on the variety, and has a crisp, firm, and waxy consistency. When cooked, Malanga corms develop a soft and starchy texture similar to potatoes and yuca. Malanga corms are ready for harvest when their leaves turn brown and begin to fall over. It is important to note that Malanga cannot be consumed raw due to its calcium oxalate content. These crystals are eliminated from the flesh when the roots are cooked, and the corms are viewed as a neutral, filling ingredient, readily absorbing accompanying flavors. Malanga has a mild, earthy, and nutty taste. Attached to the corm above ground are large, arrow-shaped, tapered green leaves connected to upright stalks reaching over two meters in height. The leaves are edible when young and have a fresh, green, and herbal flavor.