This familiar plant, made into everything from floorboards to pajamas, is actually a type of grass. And if anyone near you has ever planted any (it's actually grown by U.S. farmers in warm climates and even as far north as New England), there’s a good chance some of it will spread into your yard because, once it escapes, the weed can be very invasive and hard to control. Bamboo shoots are full of fiber, and are sometimes described as tasting like corn. Should any pop up in your vicinity, harvest shoots that are less than two weeks old and under 1 foot tall. Bamboo shoots have to be cooked before you eat them: Peel the outer leaves away and remove any tough flesh. Cut across the grain into one-eighth-inch slices, and boil in an uncovered pan for 20 minutes (or longer, if there’s still a bitter taste to them). After they’re prepared in this way, you can eat them with some soy sauce, add to salads, or use them in stir-fries.
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