Fresh Bamboo Shoots

Canned bamboo shoots are pleasant enough—mild in flavor, with great texture. They often have a distinctive aroma and taste “of metal,” says KiltedCook.

Fresh bamboo shoots, which are about to come into season, are a whole different experience. The taste of fresh bamboo shoots is sweeter and more savory than the canned kind, and the texture is softer and far less fibrous, says bulavinaka. “If you know of places that have a grove of larger diameter bamboo (like timber bamboo), you can harvest the shoots after they’ve just emerged from the ground,” says bulavinaka. “You’ll need to dig down a bit around the emerging shoot and you’ll end up with a specimen that is anywhere from 6 inches to a foot or a foot and a half long.” KiltedCook cuts them from the ground by hand from the neighbor’s grove; they’re “fabulous in taste and aroma.” currymouth is lucky enough to get them from the local Asian supermarket.

Samuelinthekitchen enjoys the particular smell of bamboo shoot salad. “Every time it comes to the table it smells exactly like perfectly spiced bamboo furniture, which I think is just fun,” he says.

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