Edible bamboo resources of Manipur: consumption pattern of young shoots, processing techniques and their commercial status in the local market
Manipur constitutes one of the major hubs of bamboo resource in the country. Apart from its household and industrial uses, bamboo is also revered in the state for its dietary usefulness through consumption of its tender shoots. To quantify the magnitude of usage patterns of bamboo shoots for food in the state, a detailed survey was undertaken covering all the 16 districts and 21 main markets of Manipur. Of the 53 reported species, 15 species belonging to genera Bambusa, Cephalostachyum, Chimonobambusa, Dendrocalamus and Melocanna were recorded as major edible bamboo species consumed as food in different areas of Manipur. Dendrocalamus latiflorus emerged as the most popular edible bamboo species in the state, being consumed in all the 16 districts. Along with fresh shoots, boiled, fermented, pickled and dried forms are also consumed. Different traditional processing and preservation methods of bamboo shoots are also practised in the state of which fermentation is the most popular one. In market places, fresh shoots are sold during the monsoon season whereas fermented shoots are available throughout the year while the sales of other bamboo shoot products in local markets are in a very nascent state.
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