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Crosnes can be described as appearing similar to a small grub or misshapen pearls. Usually about two inches or more in length and about one-half inch or less in diameter, Crosnes have a crunchy texture and earthy flavor, similar to a Jerusalem artichoke in taste. Crosnes offer a vague, nutty sweetness and juiciness. The plant's hairy felt-like leaves and square stems resemble those of the mint family.
Crosnes are available in the late fall.
Crosnes, botanically known as Stachys affinis, is a small tuber vegetable native to Japan. Grown from the chorogi plant, Crosnes are also commonly known as Chinese artichoke, Japanese artichoke, knot root and chorogi. Crosne, pronounced "crone", is an Asian member of the mint family, Labiatae, which is known for its edible and unusual-shaped tubers. Extremely labor intensive to harvest, Crosnes take hours of hands-on labor for only a few pounds of edible product.
Crosnes have a high natural sugar content and are typically classified as a carbohydrate.
Crosnes should be scrubbed clean before consumption, peeling is unnecessary. Do not expose the Crosne to light as the tubers will darken and lose some of its flavor. Saute Crosnes briefly in butter and garlic for a side dish. Boil apple cider vinegar, sugar, cinnamon and fennel seeds then pour over cleaned Crosnes and refrigerate to store until pickled. Cook Crosnes with stock and diced potatoes until tender, then blend and finish soup with cream and cognac. Saute Crosnes with sliced sunchokes and diced Italian peppers until tender, then toss with fresh rigatoni pasta and cheese. To store, refrigerate in a plastic bag up to one week.
Traditional Chinese medicine has used both the plant and its tubers for the treatment of cold symptoms. The word chorogi translates to "longevity" and is highly regarded as a symbol of good luck.
Native to Japan and China, Crosnes were introduced into Europe in the 1880s. Named because it was first cultivated in France near Crosne, the home town of Monsieur Pailleux of Crosnes, the individual credited for being the first to take the vegetable to Europe. Crosnes have recently experienced a resurgence in the United States as a sought-after item in the restaurant world. The bushy, dark green plant is a hardy, tuberous-rooted perennial and forms numerous fibrous roots that have attached spiral pearly-white tubers.
Recipes that include Crosne. One is easiest, three is harder.
People have spotted Crosne using the Specialty Produce app for iPhone and Android.
Produce Spotting allows you to share your produce discoveries with your neighbors and the world! Is your market carrying green dragon apples? Is a chef doing things with shaved fennel that are out of this world? Pinpoint your location annonymously through the Specialty Produce App and let others know about unique flavors that are around them.