Jerusalem Artichokes are a knobby root that is a member of the sunflower family. Sometimes it is referred to as a Sunchoke. It is not related to the artichoke, or to the city of Jerusalem. It produces flowers that resemble yellow daisies.
The Jerusalem artichoke plant is 6 to 12 feet tall. It bears a knobby root that is 3 to 4 inches in long, and 1 to 2 inches in diameter. The root looks like a ginger root. The flesh is crisp and juicy, and has a delicate flavor. The flavor of a Jerusalem artichoke is similar to an artichoke. It has beige skin which is edible.
The Jerusalem artichoke is a native vegetable to the United States. It grew wild in the Northern United States, and Southern Canada. It was cultivated by the Native Americans. It crossed the Atlantic Ocean in the 17th century to Europe by Samuel de Champlain. During World War II, Jerusalem artichokes were known as the “poor man’s vegetables”.
Jerusalem artichokes are available in the winter and the spring. They are better after a light frost.
Jerusalem artichokes can be consumed raw or cooked. Jerusalem artichokes are commonly found in Algerian couscous. They will oxidize quickly, so they should be put under water after being cut. The peel is hard to come off, so sometimes it is easier to remove after being cooked.
Jerusalem artichokes are very nutritious. When eaten raw, they contain potassium, iron, and thiamin. Also, they have niacin, phosphorus, copper, magnesium, folic acid, and pantothenic acid. Jerusalem artichokes contain insulin, which will convert to fructose in the body. This may cause flatulence. Jerusalem artichokes are energizing, lactogenic, and a disinfectant.
© 2013 Chef Jennifer M. Denlinger All rights reserved
Cite me: Denlinger, J. (2013, October 11).