Gui Lou Village Lotus Taro

Ark of taste
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Gui Lou Village Lotus Taro

It is a particular variety of lotus-shaped taro that the elderly farmers of the village of Gui Lou, in Sichuan, recall as being cultivated during their infancy, as far back as the 1930s.
China is one of the original sites of the taro and has a long history of the cultivation of this tuber.
In the third month of the lunar calendar, the local farmers cut the germinating part of the taro into pieces and transplant it in the ditches. Here the level of humidity is high and the water is constantly moving, creating perfect conditions for the plant. The plant grows for 5-6 months and harvest takes place after the 8th month of the lunar calendar. The stalk is removed with a sickle and the roots are detached with a hoe, one by one.
The climate in this area is sub-tropical and subject to monsoons and so perfectly suited to the cultivation of this tuber. It has a uniform reddish-brown colour, is slightly damp and the pulp is light brownish which is slippery and glutinous after cooking. It is a premium variety and can be steamed, stewed or grilled.

This local variety is the central ingredient of a famous dish in the city of Yuan Ba, known as the ""perfumed bowl"". The base of a bowl is filled with diced taro and then crunchy pieces of meat and semi-fat meat, algae, day lilly flowers and finally mushrooms are placed on top. It is then steam-cooked. The lotus-shaped taro on the base absorbs the oil and becomes soft but not greasy. The dish is cooked for celebrations, weddings and funerals.

Taro also has an important medicinal value. It is an alkaline food (low acidic level), it can stimulate the immunity system and is used in traditional Chinese medicine to improve appetite, prevent stomach burning and help digestion. It energizes, detoxifies and is also very useful in the treatment of cancer.

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Production area:Gui Lou village, Yuan Ba town, Anyue County

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Vegetables and vegetable preserves

Nominated by:Yuan Yong - Rural Reconstruction Center of Beijing