Toran (A Korean Root Vegetable)

JerusalemArtichoke When I saw these Jerusalem artichokes at a vegetable counter in a supermarket, it reminded me of a very similar type of Korean root vegetable called “Toran”.

In English this is called “taro” but I have never seen it here yet.

ToranToran is a seasonal vegetable in Korea so I remember that I often saw it on the street market in the late autumn to the beginning of winter but to be honest I have not tasted them often.

We eat this earthy vegetable in stews or soups on our special days such as Seollal (New Year’s day ) and Chuseok (Thanksgiving day).

This food is also offered to ancestors during ancestral rites commemorating the date of their deaths.

Toran used to be one of the ingredients of traditional Korean medicine which was believed to be an antidote to poisoning. This was documented in the oldest existed Korean medical text known as  “Hyang  yak Gu geup bang”  which was published in1245 during  the Goryeo dynasty in Korea. This book described remedies using natural ingredients allowing even the poor access to medicines.

In Universities we still teach herbal medicine including acupuncture, moxibustion (heat therapy), aromatherapy and meditation and you need to study 8 years to pass a government exam if you want to be a practitioner of traditional Korean medicine.

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