…but you need to know a couple of things.
I knew nothing till necessity forced the issue.
Each year now, fat shoots appear under the power lines leading to my house. Whereas most people, including the electricity inspector, are concerned about the shorter juvenile poles under the lines, the real concern is any new shoot. It’s hard to explain to people that bamboo that has grown in a previous season will never grow another inch…but that a hairy nob on the ground can grow to eighty feet within weeks. So, though I don’t like to sacrifice a single shoot, the ones under the power-lines are harvested and eaten.
When I obtain my camera, maybe I can show a little about the preparation of shoots for the kitchen. For the time being, I’ll say that the peeled and sliced shoots are blanched in plain boiling water to remove certain bitter or unwanted elements, then cooked in a strong broth of salt, dark-brown sugar and cider vinegar till tender. All cooking water is discarded. What’s left is a nutty, flavourful vegetable that can be eaten alone or tossed into soups, stews, stir fries etc. Because they come all at once and in ever greater quantities, I freeze most of the cooked shoots and find they hold up very well under freezing.
You need a good-eating species, and my moso certainly provides a succulent and fleshy shoot.
There’s talk of bamboo shoots being good for blood-pressure, bad cholesterol etc…but I really wouldn’t know about all that. All I can say is: I’ve just devoured a heap of them cooked with some Aussie-grown wild rice from Deniliquin. Delish.