The Jerusalem Artichoke, Also known as sunchoke, is not, in fact, an artichoke at all. It is a type of sunflower believe it or not. It was only ever named ‘artichoke’ by a French explorer in the 15th century because the taste resembled that of an artichoke. It’s not whats overground that matters though. It’s the tubers they produce underground. The edible tuber is often long and narrow in shape and varies in color from pale brown, red and purple. Often resembling ginger.
The earliest evidence of the root dates back to Native American times. They cultivated the flower for food, especially in the winter when food was scarce, long before any Europeans set foot in North America. They were so versatile because of their ability to persist even years after the original planting. This subsequently led to the spread and growth in popularity around Europe and the rest of the world. However, it became obscure due to the new evolving world’s ability to preserve food, although in the early 2000s attempts to market it was successful.
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Order: Asterales
- Family: Asteraceae
- Genus: Helianthus
- Species: H. Tuberosus
- Binomial Name: Helianthus Tuberosus
- Fruit of Jerusalem artichoke is a small, dark-colored, wedge-shaped seed.
- Jerusalem artichokes can be turned into flour. This type of flour is especially popular among people diagnosed with celiac disease (people that do not tolerate wheat).
- Jerusalem artichoke is a perennial plant.
- Tuber: Tubers are enlarged structures in some plant species used as storage organs for nutrients. They are used for the plant’s perennation, to provide energy and nutrients for regrowth during the next growing season, and as a means of asexual reproduction.
- Cultivation: the act of caring for or raising plants.
- Perennial plant: A plant that lives for more than 2 years
- Inulin: a group of naturally occurring polysaccharides produced by many types of plants, industrially most often extracted from chicory. The inulins belong to a class of dietary fibers known as fructans.
- Fructose: Fructose, or fruit sugar, is a simple ketonic monosaccharide found in many plants, where it is often bonded to glucose to form the disaccharide sucrose
- Fillers: additives that help bulk up the weight of food with less expensive ingredients, which helps keep the price down.
- Metabolize: When your bost processes a substance.
- Flatulence: a buildup of gas in the digestive system that can lead to abdominal discomfort
- Anti-oxidant: help defend your cells from damage caused by potentially harmful molecules known as free radicals.
- Flavonoid compound: are used by vegetables for their growth and defence against plaques