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Mouth Rash to Mouth Water (standard:travel stories, 504 words)
Author: JuggernautAdded: Jul 12 2012Views/Reads: 1604/0Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Colacasia or Dasheen leaves if not properly cooked can cause mouth rash. A tasty Trinidad dish "Callalo" is made from Dasheen leaves. The underground yams or tubers or corms are boiled to make Hawaiian dish "Poi". The entire plant fr

Mouth Rash to Mouth Water 

Subba Rao 

“Tell me about a prank your friend played on you decades ago 

and you say still fresh in your mind,” Dan stretched his legs and 

kicked back to sit comfortably in his seat to listen to the story. 

“Well, this was long ago when I was a kid, my school friend 

encouraged me to chew a leaf; within minutes my entire throat turned 

red with rash and started itching, and burning so intensely I could not 

bear the pain, I hosed cold water into my mouth, swallowed a large lump 

of sugar, and drank sour buttermilk and none worked. Friends suggested 

that that I shall scrub my mouth with fresh cow dung to ease the pain 

which I refused.  It was a prank he pulled on me for fun but turned 

into a nightmare for me,” Juggernaut was brooding over an incident that 

happened decades ago. 

“What kind of leaf was that?” 

“At that time I did not know what kind of a leaf that was, but 

several years later while studying in Trinidad, I came across similar 

leaf selling in vegetable market in bundles as Dasheen bush, the 

Trinidad Indians make a delicious dish Kallaloo, a green creamy spicy 

stew using Dasheen leaves, it was a good eating with either steamed 

rice or roti.” “The entire Dasheen plant is edible with caution, the 

heart shaped large leaves are called Elephant Ears and the underground 

corms are sold as small root vegetables as Tannia or Taro or Eddoes. 

The plant contains toxins that cause severe itching of sensitive mucous 

membrane in the mouth if it is eaten raw or not properly cooked, as it 

happened to me long time ago.” “On research, I found that sharp crystal 

shaped Calcium Oxalate in Dasheen plant causes all that irritation if 

not removed during the cooking process, the crystals are so sharp they 

penetrate the delicate mucous membrane in the mouth to cause itching 

and pain.” 

“In Jamaica, Eddoes also called as Coco yams  are boiled, 

fried, roasted or baked, a great source of carbohydrates like potato 

but sweeter. In Hawaii,  the main staple for the islanders ‘Poi' is 

made from boiled and sometimes fermented Taro or also called kalo 

corms, it is considered sacred and often used as an offering to God 

like ‘Yellow Lemon Rice' for Hindus in India,” Juggernaut started 

yawning as he concluded narrating his experience. 

“Well, as Hawaiians believe in big brother Poi, at least in 

spirit Poi was watching over your shoulder with a rough start in India 

when you had bad mouth rash from chewing raw Taro leaves to Trinidad 

where you enjoyed mouth watering Kallaloo stew and snacked on fried 

slices of Taro corms in Jamaica and now enjoying the real Poi as a 

nutritious staple on the Big Island in Hawaii.” “Apparently big brother 

Poi was guiding your journey from India to Hawaii to live under his 

protection.” said Dan looking at Juggernaut as he was slipping into mid 

afternoon nap. 


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