If you haven't heard of the Jersusalem Artichoke, you're not alone. I first read about them this winter while I was perusing one of Yotam Ottolenghi's cookbooks. Jerusalem artichokes also go by "sunchokes," "sun root" or "earth apple," and come from the root of a sunflower native to North America. So Jerusalem artichokes aren't artichokes AND they aren't from Jerusalem. Apparently the Italian word for sunflower is girasole which turned into Jerusalem and then artichoke got added to the end of the name because of their similarity in taste. And suddenly the Jerusalem artichoke was born.
While Jerusalem artichokes do taste like artichokes, they have a texture that is more similar to potatoes or other tubers, which makes sense as the Jerusalem artichoke is tuber. These root vegetables are best cooked by roasting or in soups. It is very important to never eat these raw as they contain a carbohydrate called inulin which your stomach can have a hard time breaking down which may cause some stomach discomfort. So proceed with caution if eating them raw or under-cooked.
Jerusalem artichokes are high in potassium, fiber, iron and niacin so they make a pretty good source of nutrition. They're in season from October to April in North America. When selecting Jerusalem artichokes, look for ones will a firm texture, few spots, with no blemishes or spots.
I'll post a recipe later today showing you a recipe you can make with Jerusalem artichokes!