As a kid I had eaten bamboo shoots once or twice. Always from a can, and only when our supermarket had their yearly Asian week. In China, where bamboo actually grows, you can get it much more easily whether fresh or pickled.
I ordered a helping of bamboo shoots at our university canteen and was presented with a beautiful plate of what appeared to be fresh bamboo. You had to peel off the outer layers, as those were as chewy as wood. It is a grass after all. The inner parts where super tender though, and had a mild acidic flavor. Perhaps they were pickled after all. You don’t eat bamboo for its taste, but rather for the texture as texture is really important in Chinese cooking.
Fear Factor – 0 / Taste Test – 8