Subject: "Tahoon", Chinese Toon (Toona sinensis)
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Peter Bauwens
Posted on: October 29, 2003

I’m a specialist herb grower/writer in Belgium. I have some plants of Tahoon, grown as a micro-vegetable. The seeds are the size of buckwheat; plants look like young tomato-plants. The leaves have a great nutty flavor. Can’t find any info on them. Any idea?

The plant is known by a variety of names, including Chinese Toon Shoot, Chinese Cedar, Chinese Mahogany, and in Chinese as Xiang Chun or Xiang Chun Ya. The botanical name is Toona sinensis, though it is still sometimes known by its former botanical name, Cedrella sinensis. I don’t know where the name "Tahoon" used in Europe comes from.

It is a small tree belonging to the Meliaceae family, a family to which the herbs neem and chinaberry also belong.

Its young shoots are a popular vegetable in China. It is grown both in the field and in greenhouses. It is described as "crispy", "delicious" and "aromatic" and is used in stir fries, salads, for pickling, and as a seasoning.

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