WHAT IS A BAMBOO SHOOT?
It is the "Fruit" of the cultivation of Giant Bamboo. It comes from the rhizomes and develops vertically out of the ground to grow in height. It is a vegetable that can reach dimensions and important weights (on average more than 1kg). If it is not harvested it will become a future bamboo cane. The most popular variety in Italy is the "Phyllostachys pubescens edulis" alias Moso Bambù or Giant Bamboo, it is the ideal bamboo to be grown in temperate / Mediterranean climate. In the US we grow the Moso Giant Bamboo as well as a Tropical Giant Bamboo breed.
ARE BAMBOO SHOOTS A CHINESE, ASIAN OR ITALIAN PRODUCT?
Bamboo shoots have been appreciated and consumed by the Asian populations since always but recently it has also become a 100% Italian product. Some populations consider bamboo "sacred" because it is totally exploitable; With the sprouts we are making a large amount of jars, combining Italian tradition with innovation. So many of the products we eat today, were once innovative, for example when they were introduced by Christopher Columbus or Marco Polo who brought them to the European markets when returning from their long journeys in the Americas and the Indies.
IS BAMBOO AN INVASIVE PLANT?
Until 2014, bamboo was used as an ornamental plant in our gardens. Its characteristic as a "colonizing plant" is positive if designed for production, commercial and industrial purposes. The fear of invasion is resolved by making a perimeter ditch, when the bamboo rhizome arrives at the ditch on the land borders and roads it stops.
WHAT PERIOD OF THE YEAR IS BEST TO HARVEST BAMBOO SHOOTS?
Giant bamboo shoots are harvested in the spring, from March to mid-June. Asians also harvest the winter sprout which is considered tender and delicious but, also for this reason, very expensive. There are other edible species that can be harvested at other times of the year.
WHAT ARE THE BEST USES OF BAMBOO SHOOTS FOR FOOD?
There are around 1200 different varieties of bamboo. Our company OnlyMoso has identified, with the help of its own studies and thanks to the collaboration with the best Asian researchers, three particularly interesting species for food: the Moso bamboo, the Fargesia bamboo (very resistant to cold) and the Tropical bamboo (in European climate grows better in greenhouses, but in Florida it grows very well on the field). By alternating the cultivation of these three species, it ensures the harvesting of the shoots for most of the year, guaranteeing continuity of income for the farmer and the investor.
WHAT ARE THE FOOD CHARACTERISTICS OF THESE THREE TYPES OF BAMBOO SHOOTS?
The Moso bamboo shoot is certainly the most appreciated by the agri-food markets and also the most available. The shoot of Fargesia is very similar to the asparagus while the Tropical is a large shoot that, unlike the first two, has a sweeter taste and is collected during the summer.
WHAT AREAS ARE MOST SUITABLE TO CULTIVATE GIANT BAMBOO?
Giant bamboo grows in all types of soil, it mostly depends on the type of bamboo and wether it is a tropical or sub-tropical species to know where it will develop and grow well. The main factor to consider is the young mother plants need water to develop. For this reason we recommend an irrigation system.
HOW TO PREPARE BAMBOO SHOOTS FOR FOOD AFTER HARVESTING?
Once the sprouts have been washed and cleaned of their protective natural sheaths, they are boiled, cut and finally packed. Bamboo shoots are an extraordinary vegetable as it can be used in practically any way in the kitchen.
WHAT ARE THE NUTRITIONAL CHARACTERISTICS OF BAMBOO SHOOTS?
Bamboo shoots have very good nutritional characteristics. It is a hyposodic and very light product, practically indicated in all diets. Bamboo shoots are energetic and hypocaloric, have a high content of flavonoids, powerful natural antioxidants against cellular aging. The research conducted by the University of Bari's pharmacy faculty has shown that Bamboo shoots can be considered one of the 5 healthiest foods in the world for its extraordinary nutritional characteristics.
ARE BAMBOO SHOOTS RECOMMENDED IN VEGETARIAN OR VEGAN DIETS?
Sure! bamboo shoots are good for vegetarian diets and also for Vegan food philosophy. Bamboo plantations have highly sustainable and eco-friendly components, purifying the air from carbon dioxide and releasing more oxygen into the air than any other forest.
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