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When bamboo is cultivated for shoots, workers walk the fields barefoot, heaping soil around those spots where their toes feel a slight rise in the ground. The bulge heralds an emerging culm, which is kept covered as long possible, sometimes with a wooden box, because when exposed it becomes fibr in a short time. The shoot is harvested when about 1 foot tall, by digging down and carefully severing it at the point where it joins the rhizome bear it. Shoots are boiled a half hour or more and the outer sheaths removed. They are white in color, with the look of a raw paotato, crisp in texture. Shoots of almost any bamboo can be eaten. The principal genera used for sprouts include Arundinaria, Bambusa, Dendrocalamus, and Phyllostachys. Although the size is one limiting factor, even diminutive Sasa in Japan provides some 600 tons of shoots annually. In Taiwan P. edulis and D. latiflorus are used. In Japan P. moso and P edu are used. Soft quality shoots require yearly soil dressing, straw litter a farmyard manure.. A sprout properly dug will have a rooty, woody basal portin, increasing sharply in diameter upwad for a short distance from the very slender part which was attached to its rhizome, and then tapering to a point. With a sharp paring knife cut lengthwise through the sheath only, from tip to base the sprout. Beginning with the lowersheaths, remove all except the tender ones at the tip. If there is a grayish layer (owing to age) next to the lo nodes, pare this off. Remove the togh basal part. Cut the core portion diagonally or crosswise into rather this slices. The lower, firmer portion should be cut across the grain, not thicker than 1/8 inch, but the more ten middle and upper parts may be sliced thicker or cut into varioyus shapes according to the recipe. Sprouts may be served alone, drained, with butter melted over them, after boiling for about twenty minutes. Salt is added ne the end of the boiling period. If the fresh sprouts are unpleasantly bitte to the taste there should be a change of water after the first ten minutes cooking. The more pronounced bitterness of some of the tropical edible bamboos (of the genus Bambusa and others) may be removed by a third change water if the bamboo is not sliced too thicvk and a good volume of water is used.
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