When picking Pre-cut Segments with visible cut cross sections:
Look for the ones with as few of the purple “veins” as possible. The center should be mostly white (powdery) with few veins speckled/sprinkled in. If it starts getting more speckled toward the outer 1-3 to 1-4, that is fine. There is enough “powder” to compensate for the taste.
More white space is good because the white is “powder” (rough translation) aka the starch, and lends itself to the signature aroma and flavor of taro. It will also be “fluffy” and light in texture for lack of better words like fresh powder snow. When cooked, taro should practically melt and crumble. Dense packed, purple veiny taro = vegetal nasty tasting taro.
When picking out Whole Taro:
Pick the one that is the lightest for its size (least dense). Less density = more powder and fewer veins. See above for explanation of why this is desirable.
How to Know if you Picked a Good One:
Slice it. If where is white residue clinging to the blade, congratz! You’ve picked a tasty one. That means that powder is in excess, enough to transfer onto other surfaces by contact.
Making It Keep Longer:
When you get it home, skin it, as in slice the outer brown skin off. This will prevent the taro from “aging” futher and changing in texture.
FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS HOLY DO NOT GET THE TARO WET. NO WATER SHALL TOUCH IT. If water gets on it, it will start the decomposition process almost immediately (next day) and go bad very quickly.
To store it, wrap it in brown paper and stick it in a low humidity, cool enviorment. For me, that’s the fridge.