What are sunchokes?
Sunchokes are native to eastern North America. They are also known as Jerusalem Artichokes or Sunroots. They are not related to Artichokes, but they are related to sunflowers. The whole “Jerusalem” thing is supposedly linked to the Italian word girasola, which means sunflower.
Sunchokes are a perennial plant that grows six to ten feet tall. While they do have pretty yellow flowers, they are grown for their edible roots. Their roots are high in inulin (more on that below), and can be used raw or cooked.
Historically, sunchokes have been a valuable food source in Native American culture, especially during late winter when storage runs low and spring crops are not yet available. (See Full Moon Feast for more on yearly eating cycles.) [Read more…]