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Growing Bamboo General discussion - Identification, selection, propagation, care

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  #1  
Old 22nd December 2009, 07:28 PM
Iguanaman
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: USA - Missouri SW
Posts: 46
Eating bamboo shoots

Since I have bamboo doing well and I expect this spring to see (hopefully) a number of shoots my question is:

How does one harvest bamboo shoots in order to eat them? While I probably won't be doing this until they are very well established I would like to know the procedure if anyone knows. Do you pull them up once they are a certain height? What part is edible? (I have black bamboo) and how do you make that part edible? Is it ready-to-eat or does it have to be cooked?
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  #2  
Old 22nd December 2009, 08:48 PM
CaroleMeckes
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: USA - Texas, Austin
Posts: 1,306
Here is an interesting thread about bamboo shoots.

If you are lazy you can cut the shoots off at the ground - but if you want to get more of the shoot - you can dig down and get the whole shoot down to where it is connected to the rhizome. Use a small sharp shovel to do this.
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  #3  
Old 23rd December 2009, 04:18 PM
sasa fool
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: USA - Indiana, Nashville
Posts: 153
Greetings, although I seldom remember to do this, ideally I like to identify the shoots I want to eat as soon as they are first visible above ground, usually under an inch tall. Then I put a 1 gallon nursery pot over them upside down - a coffee can would surely work. When they have grown enough to lift the cover off the ground cut 'em down and eat 'em. The cover keeps the light off/chlorophyll down and they are sweeter.

I slice them in half longways and then gently push from the outside toward the cut/exposed center - the softest part usually pops up and I pull it out discarding the rest.
Brad Salmon - Needmore Bamboo Co. - www.needmorebamboo.com Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 23rd December 2009, 04:33 PM
Iguanaman
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: USA - Missouri SW
Posts: 46
Since I don't recall ever eating these before what are they similar too? Water chestnuts or something else?
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  #5  
Old 23rd December 2009, 10:33 PM
CaroleMeckes
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: USA - Texas, Austin
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Brad, I really like your description of an ideal way to approach harvesting bamboo shoots.

I'd say they kinda taste like being from the cabbage family.....

Carole
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  #6  
Old 24th December 2009, 01:36 PM
Iguanaman
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: USA - Missouri SW
Posts: 46
Thanks for the information! I hope this variety is somewhat edible/tasty. Do you have to cook the shoots or can they be eaten raw?
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  #7  
Old 24th December 2009, 01:40 PM
CaroleMeckes
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: USA - Texas, Austin
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Generally people cook bambo shoots - although I have heard people say they have eaten them raw.

Do you know which species you have growing?
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  #8  
Old 24th December 2009, 01:45 PM
Iguanaman
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: USA - Missouri SW
Posts: 46
The bamboo is P. Nigra
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  #9  
Old 24th December 2009, 01:50 PM
CaroleMeckes
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: USA - Texas, Austin
Posts: 1,306
I've only eaten a little bit of P nigra as my plantings are fairly new - but it is a good one
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  #10  
Old 29th December 2009, 11:47 AM
sasa fool
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: USA - Indiana, Nashville
Posts: 153
To me they taste like baby corn, I particularly like Phyllostachys bissetii. I always will nibble a raw shoot of a given species to see how they taste, usually there is an acrid/bitter aftertaste that vanishes upon stir frying, some are decent even raw.
Brad Salmon - Needmore Bamboo Co. - www.needmorebamboo.com Reply With Quote
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