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Eddoes are the starchy edible tubers of a tropical plant, the taro (in practice the term seems to be applied to the smaller, potato-sized tubers; very large ones, which have to be sliced up for cooking, are simply called taro, or alternatively dasheen). They resemble a hairy cross between potatoes and dahlia tubers. The name, which seems to come from a West African language, first crops up as long ago as 1685 (predating the more general taro). This was in The English Empire in America by Richard Burton, who describes eddoes and potatoes as ‘a substantial and wholesome nourishing root’. In The Natural History of Barbadoes (1750) Griffith Hughes notes that ‘the different species of eddoes are distinguished into the blue eddoes, the scratching eddoes, and the roasting eddoes’.

Subjects: Cookery, Food, and Drink.

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