High-fiber and low calorie bamboo shoots are in season, the Council of Agriculture (COA) said yesterday, encouraging consumers to savor them during the hot summer months.
Bamboo shoots are mostly grown in the northern part of the country, where they are planted atop hills up to 500m above sea level, said Lee Chuang-ming (李窗明), a spokesperson for the council’s Taoyuan district agricultural research and extension station, adding that out of the 7,000-odd hectares of bamboo shoot plantation, about 5,000 are in northern regions.
These include Taipei County’s Wugu (五股), Bali (八里) and Sansia (三峽) townships, Taipei City’s Shilin (士林) and Muzha (木柵) districts, as well as Taoyuan’s Fuhsing (復興) and Dasi (大溪) townships, he said.
“At 27 calories and 2.2g of fiber [of a recommended daily intake of 20g] per 100g, bamboo shoots provide a light, good food source in summer, especially when they are chilled and sliced after cooking,” Lee said.
“Fibrous bamboo shoot can also balance out fats contained in contemporary diets,” he said.
When selecting good bamboo shoots, people should choose the ones that have no greenness on the surface and those with a larger “base,” Lee said.
“As a defense mechanism to avoid being eaten by animals, bamboo shoots turn bitter when they break the soil, which is a result of being in contact with the sun. Choosing bamboo shoots that do not have any greenness ensures they will be sweeter,” he said.
A shoot with a broader base also means that it contains more edible parts, Lee said.
“As a rule of thumb, choose ones that are short and stout,” he said.
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