Inventory, 20 lbs : 37.64
This item was last sold on : 12/04/23
Sunchokes are thin-skinned, knobby, and resemble the look of ginger. Measuring an average of 7.5 – 10 centimeters long, these tubers are the root stem of a variety of sunflower that grows up to ten feet tall. Sunchoke varieties can vary in appearance, some have “eyes” similar to potatoes, some are smooth, whereas others are more knobbed. The tubers have a light-beige to tan colored skin, with a crisp and juicy, ivory flesh. Raw Sunchokes have a texture similar to water chestnuts and a sweet, nutty flavor.
Sunchokes are available year-round, with a peak season in the fall and early spring.
Sunchokes are the bulbous tubers of the plant known botanically as Helianthus tuberosus, a variety of sunflower. Sunchokes are also commonly known as Jerusalem artichoke, sunroot, earth apple, and topinambour. The plant is propagated primarily for its root, which can be consumed both raw and cooked. Native to North America, Sunchokes are one of the few vegetables to travel back to the Old World with explorers.
The inulin-rich Sunchokes contain no other type of carbohydrate, which is perhaps why some call it “the potato of diabetics.” The sunflower tubers are also high in fiber and have more potassium than most other vegetables.
Sunchokes can be used in place of potatoes in any recipe, though they have more moisture and no starch, so cooking times can differ. The knobby tuber is said to be best when roasted, though it can be served raw in salads, baked like fries, boiled and mashed or pureed into a soup. Serve raw sliced Sunchokes in a crudité with creamy or oily dips. To remove the thin skin, scrub the choke beneath running water and use a peeler or the edge of a spoon to remove skin around larger knobby areas. Sunchokes will keep in the refrigerator for up to a month if wrapped in plastic.
The name “Jerusalem artichoke” may have been a corruption of ‘Girasole Articiocco’ which is what the Sunchoke is said to have been called when it was handed out from the garden of Cardinal Farnese, a favorite of the Pope. It was said that all newly discovered plants were sent to the Pope where he would give them to his friends to cultivate, one of which was Cardinal Farnese who was growing Jerusalem artichokes in 1617 in Rome. The Sunchoke found popularity on the menus of famous 18th and 19th century French chefs, in particular Louis Eustache Ude, who used Sunchokes as his main ingredient in Palestine soup which is still made in French homes today.
Sunchokes are native to North America and were cultivated by Native tribes who called them “sunroots”. Once introduced to Europe, the Sunchoke became “Girasole”, the Latin name for sunflower. It is believed that the moniker “Jerusalem Artichoke” came from a corruption of this Italian name. It gained favor in French kitchens in the 17th century. Before potatoes were commonly planted, it was the Sunchoke that accompanied the meat dishes and stews of Europe and the United States. Still cultivated and grown in home gardens in France, the Sunchoke was most popular during the World Wars when food was rationed and Sunchokes, rutabagas, and other root vegetables were more common on the dinner plates. Now cultivated mainly in the south of France, Sunchokes still go by a variety of names like Sunroot, and Topinambour.
Restaurants currently purchasing this product as an ingredient for their menu.
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Recipes that include Sunchokes. One is easiest, three is harder.