What Do Hearts Of Palm Taste Like? A Detailed Answer

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You have heard a lot about the hearts of palm. It is deemed to be an underrated food with loads of nutritional value. You make up your mind to include them in your diet only if you know the answer to “what do hearts of palm taste like?” Well, get ready to know all about them. 

Heart of Palm

Hearts of palm have a natural, earthy, vegetal taste with a mild sweetness. The taste of the hearts of palm can be compared to that of asparagus, artichokes, and water chestnuts. They have creamy, tender flesh which becomes solid and crunchy when cooked.

I am sure you don’t want to stop with the taste of the hearts of palm. You want to know more about its uses, best pairings, and health benefits. I have got whatever you wanted to know about the hearts of palm and their taste covered in this article. Let us get started right away!

What Are Hearts Of Palm?

Hearts of palm are as easy as they sound – they refer to the core, heart part of specific palm trees which contain the growing bud. These buds are harvested and are referred to as the hearts of palm. Hearts of palm are also known by these names – palm cabbage, palmito, or chonta.

You may think that the hearts of palm actually mean literal hearts. That is not true. The right term for addressing is not hearts of palm; it is just heart of palm since each plant only has one heart.

Hearts of palm are white-colored vegetables harvested from palm trees native to Central and South America. These comprise coconut, Juara, acai, palmetto, and peach palm. After hearts of palm are harvested from these palm trees, these are cut into cylindrical or ring shapes and packed in water or brine.

What Do Hearts Of Palm Taste Like?

The most important part of the article is the taste of palm hearts. Let us see what these hearts have to offer our taste buds!

Hearts of palm have a natural, earthy flavor that is more vegetal in taste. They have a mild, delicate sweetness that perfectly complements their natural earthiness. They have a creamy, crunchy texture which makes them highly versatile.

The taste of hearts of palm is often compared to artichokes, water chestnuts, and asparagus, which are naturally and mildly sweet. 

Do Hearts Of Palm Taste Good?

If you had tasted asparagus or artichokes before and enjoyed their recipes, I bet you can guess if hearts of palm taste good. If you haven’t, read more to find out if they taste good.

Hearts of palm indeed taste good with their naturally sweet, vegetal flavor. However, they have to be cooked right to enjoy their taste better. Hearts of palm taste delicious when they are raw, grilled, sauteed, or added to salads, pizzas, and pasta. 

Do Hearts Of Palm Taste Good When Cooked?

If you are still unconvinced about the taste of the hearts of palm, you need more convincing. I am about to do just that. You know that hearts of palm are known for their sweet, natural, earthy flavor similar to that of jicama, artichoke hearts, water chestnuts, and asparagus.

The mild flavor of hearts of palm is intensified when cooked, without a doubt. Moreover, the hearts of palm have a perfect texture that is a good balance between tenderness and crunchiness. Their solid texture, when cooked, becomes tender yet crunchy, making them taste extremely flavorful.

Do Hearts Of Palm Taste Like Pasta?

Now, don’t get me wrong, but some validate that hearts of palm taste like pasta. Shall we find out if it’s true enough for us to give it a try?

The word is that when cooked properly, the hearts of palm indeed taste like pasta. The appearance, taste, and texture of palm tree pasta resemble pasta more than other noodles made of veggies such as zucchini or sweet potatoes. 

Hearts of palm pasta make a great substitute for pasta in lasagna and spaghetti due to their similarity in taste and texture. A few companies have begun to sell canned hearts of palm noodles for us to relish.

What Do Hearts Of Palm Noodles Taste Like?

Zoodles are a trending type of noodles that you can safely eat and enjoy due to their nutritional value. Another type to be added to the same category is hearts of palm noodles. So, how about its taste?

Hearts of palm noodles refer to the hearts of palm, which are cut into strands similar to that of pasta. They are usually made only with the hearts of palm but can sometimes include the addition of salt and water. 

Hearts of palm noodles have a mild, neutral flavor with a slightly citrusy taste similar to that of artichoke hearts. This mild flavor can easily be masked with the flavors of other ingredients used along with them. 

What Do Hearts Of Palm Pasta Taste Like?

If you are with me so far, you already know the heart of palm pasta. Shall we dig into more of its taste and see if they are any good? Well, Hearts of palm pasta refers to hearts of palm which are cut into linguini-shaped pieces, cooked, and served like pasta.

When rightly cooked, the hearts of palm pasta taste like pasta, and it is sometimes hard to differentiate between them. Hearts of palm pasta have a mild, neutral taste with a subtle hint of citrusy flavor that will blend nicely with other ingredients. 

Can You Eat Raw Hearts Of Palm?

We all love the crunchiness of eating raw vegetables such as carrots and zucchini. In that line, hearts of palm are also crunchy in texture. So, can the hearts of palm be eaten raw?

Hearts of palm can be eaten raw, for sure. They have a mild sweet flavor similar to that of jicama and artichokes. These can be used in salads in their raw form and what you have is a salad that is tasty and nutritious.

What Are Hearts Of Palm Similar To?

You know by now that hearts of palm share a close resemblance in flavor and taste to that of a few vegetables. Let us have a look at them.

Hearts of palm are similar to artichoke hearts, asparagus, and water chestnuts. All of these have a mild, sweet flavor profile; hence, these are similar to hearts of palm. Since the hearts of palm have a crunchy, firm texture, they are also sometimes used as a substitute for meat apart from vegetables.

Hearts Of Palm Vs. Artichoke Hearts | What’s The Difference?

I have mentioned countless times that hearts of palm taste similar to artichoke hearts. So, you might be thinking, what the heck is the difference between the hearts of palm and artichoke hearts? I have the answers for you.

Hearts of palm are the core bud of palm trees that are fit for consumption. These are mostly from coconut trees but can also be sourced from other palm varieties. Artichoke hearts refer to the central part of the so-called heart of the artichoke plant that you can see once the leaves are stripped.

Hearts of palm have a mild, sweet earthy flavor, while artichoke hearts also have a sweet, juicy flavor. There exists a major difference between the hearts of palm and artichoke hearts. It is that artichoke hearts, when eaten raw, have a mild, bitter taste, unlike hearts of palm, which have a sweet, earthy taste.

Another difference between the two tree hearts is that the hearts of palm have fewer calories than artichoke hearts. They also have double the amount of fiber that artichoke hearts. Artichoke hearts contain more carbohydrates and Vitamin A than hearts of palm. 

How To Pick The Best Hearts Of Palm?

Finding the best hearts of palm can be difficult if you do not know how to find them. Don’t worry. The following points should help you with that:

  • It is difficult to find fresh hearts of palm since these perish quite quickly. Did I tell you that these are expensive as well?
  • So, mostly you will be stuck with raw, jarred, or canned hearts of palm. While buying raw, canned, or jarred hearts of palm, check their color. They should be white or ivory and have a firm texture.
  • If you come across fresh hearts of palm, select those that are intact and not damaged. The stalks should be fresh and not bruised.

How To Store Hearts Of Palm Properly?

It is essential to know how to store hearts of palm properly so that they enjoy them in their fullest flavor in recipes. Take a look at the tips given below:

  • Fresh hearts of palm might be a little tricky to find since they get perish easily (not to mention how they burn our wallets!). If you are lucky (and wealthy) enough to find fresh hearts of palm, refrigerate them immediately. 
  • Fresh hearts of palm which are not used should be stored after tightly sealing them in a plastic wrapper. They stay this way for about two weeks.
  • Do not keep hearts of palm in the freezer. Since they are high in water content, freezing them will affect their texture.
  • Canned or jarred hearts of palm should be stored in a dry, cool place at room temperature. 
  • After opening the cans or jars, store the unused hearts of palm in an airtight container and refrigerate them. This should be consumed within a week.

Where To Buy Hearts Of Palm?

Hearts of palm are easily available in most grocery stores and specialty markets. Online retailers such as Fresh and Wild and Instacart also offer to sell hearts of palm. They are available as both whole and sliced. Most supermarkets sell canned or jarred hearts of palm in water or brine.

Best Ways To Cook Hearts Of Palm

Although hearts of palm are enjoyed raw in salads, there are ways to cook them best and enjoy them even more. Find out more by reading the tips given below:

  • Marinating: When marinated, hearts of palm are a great appetizer you ought to try. They can be served alongside a charcuterie platter or cheese plate.
  • Roasting: Another best way is to roast hearts of palm with the addition of olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
  • Grilling: Grilling hearts of palm gives you a smoky flavor similar to that of grilled eggplant. You can serve the grilled hearts of palm with a herb sauce of your choice for a flavorful combination.
  • Stir-Fry: How can you miss the taste of hearts of palm that are stir-fried? Stir-frying hearts of palm brings out the soft, crunchy texture and flavor, and you can enjoy them with other ingredients such as snow peas or celery.
  • Imitation Crab Cakes: Fan of crab cakes? Try swapping real crab cakes with hearts of palm. With added mayonnaise, breadcrumbs or panko, seasoning agents, and other vegetables, you might have difficulty finding a difference!

Health Benefits Of Hearts Of Palm

Hearts of palm are well-known for their unique taste, texture, and health benefits. Some of the major health benefits of hearts of palm are given below for your understanding:

  • Hearts of palm are low in calories and rich in nutrients such as iron, calcium, magnesium, folate, potassium, phosphorus, copper, and zinc.
  • They are high in antioxidants which mitigates the risk of conditions such as cancer, diabetes, and heart diseases.
  • They help us with weight loss since they are low in fat content and calories.
  • They have a high fiber and water content which promotes the feeling of fullness and prevents you from overeating.
  • They have fewer carbohydrates and thus can be included in keto diets.

Nutritional Content Of Hearts Of Palm

In a cup of hearts of palm (73 g), the following nutritional values are observed:

Calories20
Fat0.5 g
Sodium311 mg
Carbohydrates3.4 g
Fiber1.8 g
Sugars0 g
Protein1.8 g
Iron2.3 mg
Zinc0.8 mg
Magnesium27.8 mg

Final Word

That was all about the hearts of palm and their taste. Hearts of palm are white-colored vegetables with a mild, sweet, earthy, vegetal flavor and a crunchy, firm texture. They are loaded with vital nutrients and have immense health benefits. They can be eaten raw or enjoyed using various cooking methods.

So, what stops you further? Grab a few hearts of the palm tree and let me know in the comments section if they found a place in your heart. See you soon with another article!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the heart of palm a delicacy?

Heart of palm is considered a delicacy since it requires strenuous efforts to harvest it.

What do you do with hearts of palm?

Hearts of palm can be grilled, roasted, baked, stir-fried and braised. They can also be used raw in salads.

What do canned hearts of palm taste like?

Canned hearts of palm have a sweet, earthy flavor with a subtle salty taste. This is because these are soaked in water or a brine while canning.

Do hearts of palm taste like pasta?

Hearts of palm taste like pasta if they are cooked appropriately with the right seasonings.

How long do hearts of palm last after opening?

Hearts of palm will last only for a week after opening. If refrigerated, they can last for two weeks.

What is Heart of Palm similar to?

Heart of palm is similar to artichoke hearts and white asparagus.

How to make heart of palm taste like seafood?

You can mix heart of palm with vegan butter, garlic, paprika, salt, lemon juice and parsley and prepare a vegan lobster that tastes like seafood.

What are the side effects of eating hearts of palm?

If you are allergic to hearts of palm, the side effects can be weak pulse, shortness of breath, dizziness and hives.

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