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The potato-like Jerusalem artichoke tuber is being rediscovered in today’s kitchens. Gourmets appreciate their sweet, delicately nutty flavour, which is reminiscent of a globe artichoke.

The plants were brought to Europe from North America by French seafarers at the start of the 17th century. In America, the tuber (named “topinambur” after a Native American tribe) was grown as a vegetable and animal feed, until it was displaced in the mid-18th century by the potato.

The Jerusalem artichoke not only has a distinctive aroma, it is also ideal if you are watching your weight. This is because the tubers are low in calories and, due to their high fibre content, very filling. Jerusalem artichokes are really versatile in the kitchen. For example, they can be shredded or grated raw and used in salads (it is best to add a dash of lemon juice, to stop the vegetable turning brown when exposed to air). 
Cooking the vegetable releases its characteristic nutty aroma, which can be even better appreciated if combined with breadcrumbs browned in butter, for example. Jerusalem artichokes also taste great in creamy soups, sauces, vegetable bakes and as a puree. Since the tubers have only a thin skin, there is no need to peel them. It is enough to brush them under running water to remove any dirt.


Source:, Heike Kreutz