Source: Shutterstock/Dani Vincek. Boiled Jerusalem artichokes can be made into a good mash, mixed half and half with another veg — mashed by themselves, they don’t tend to have enough body to peak up, and slide instead into a purée on your plate. The French took to them right away, whereas they resisted the potato for a long time. The first European to record mention of them was Samuel de Champlain in 1605. Lemon juice stops peeled Jerusalem artichokes from browning. Myths about the dangers of this starchy tuber kept Europeans for cultivating them until the threat was proved superstitious and they embraced the tasty vegetable. Thinking they tasted like artichokes, the Italian named the tuber "girasole articicco," meaning, "sunflower artichoke." The knobbly tubers of the Jerusalem artichoke are not to everyone’s liking, and they have an unfortunate association with flatulence (they’re often nicknamed ‘fartichokes’). It's one of the few native tubers of North America. He brought them back to France, probably in 1607, along with his opinion about their taste. When it comes to food, sadly bad names tend to drive out good. Pack the mixture into a jar with a capacity of at least six cups. Each one should be about the size of a golf ball. The iron in them may cause the skin to darken when cooked, but don’t worry about it, as you are going to peel the skin off and discard it anyway. Listen now wherever you get your podcasts, The latest Irish and international sports news for readers and members, A platform helping fund the type of in-depth journalism that the public wants to see, 1½ pounds Jerusalem artichokes thoroughly, Opinion: It's time for courage - Rebuilding Ireland is dysfunctional and must be replaced. It was probably the association with the word “artichoke”, a lesson marketers are still using today in mislabelling the food. Jerusalem artichokes contain a form of starch called “inulin”, which is a polysaccharide. You never want to go out with a whimper.’ — Julia Child (to Jacques Pepin during ‘Cooking in Concert’). Holly Cairns: The greyhound industry is inherently cruel – so why should the taxpayer fund it? © Michelle Mattern, Tubers fully turned up When you would have considered using jicama, water chestnuts, or almonds, try substituting the tuber. By the time the French did accept potatoes, however, they had begun to reject Jerusalem Artichokes: a belief had sprung up that its gnarled skin would cause your own skin to go the same way. Jerusalem artichoke soup The small ones only had a few smaller chokes while the big ten were responsible for the larger chokes. A sunchoke is an underground vegetable like a cross between a rutabaga, potato, sunflower seed, and water chestnut. Cook it like a potato. Some chokes can grow inches away from their stalks, which is what makes them difficult to harvest. Sunchoke plants in ground “Gira” means turn, and “sole/sola” is a form of the word “sun”. Samuel de Champlain , the French explorer, sent the first samples of the plant to France, noting its taste was similar to that of an artichoke . Fora | They are, in fact, very different plants that bear little if any resemblance to each other. On the other hand, they are a cinch to grow, suffer no diseases, are exceptionally prolific and will grow pretty much in any soil, and make a great winter soup. Pieces of sunchoke can even be deep fried for a picnic treat. The “saccharide” part of that word may ring some bells if you have read the entry on beans, which have “Oligosaccharides”. If they are left in the ground, they will eventually succumb to slugs, and they will probably prevent you from preparing the bed for whatever will be grown there next year. Their flavour is good, being sweet and nutty. Its English name is derived from the old Italian name for it, “Girasole (or Girasola) articiocco”. We’re not far away from artichoke harvesting, so I suppose we could say that the windy season is almost upon us. Then backfill with soil. Storage in a plastic bag may increase the chance of mould developing. | Like parsnips and potatoes, the Jerusalem artichoke is versatile, and can be roasted, sautéed, fried, mashed, boiled, steamed, pureed, battered and baked. Store unwashed in a paper bag in the fridge (in the vegetable crisper if possible) for one to two weeks. Try to make sure you only use the least knobbly tubers to grow from – the smoother the tubers you use to grow plants, the smoother the resulting crop will be. And that means that Jerusalem artichokes produce gas. What time of day is it when people care about things that don't matter? Fermenting artichokes is rumoured to reduce their windiness. Still have questions? There were a total of about 25 stalks in those clumps, ten large ones about 1″ in diameter and 15 small ones. Get yourself some artichoke tubers, make a hole about 15cm deep, and drop a tuber into it every 30cm in a row. The plant is a member of the sunflower family, and it looks like it. Otherwise, you will be plagued with them growing back next year. But it was too late: Champlain’s unhelpful association had already made its way into Italian and English. You also can’t go willy-nilly in there with a shovel or you will damage too many of the chokes so I only do a couple big scoops around and then excavate the rest by hand. In this regard, a better name for them is one of their synonyms, “sunchokes.” The colour of the tubers ranges from creamy to brownish to pinky. Dissolve the salt and sugar in the water. The plants will regenerate themselves and spread from any tubers left in the ground; they can be hard to get rid of if you miss any in the ground in the fall.