Running Forward

Jerusalem Artichokes

on October 18, 2011

For a part of my anthropology of eating project I had to try cooking an unfamiliar piece of produce from the farmers market. So, on Saturday morning Lesley and I went running in Bishop Park, then walked over to the market. It wasn’t as great as my beloved Alpharetta farmers market, but there were still a lot of vendors. We browsed the produce area for a bit, but I quickly noticed the Jerusalem artichokes at one stand. At first glance, I thought it was ginger, but the color was paler. They’re actually the root of a type of sunflower. I bought three knobs of the mystery ingredient and anxiously waited to prepare them at lunch.

The farmer informed me that they can be eaten raw or cooked using pretty much any method used for a potato. So, I first cut off a piece to try raw. Tasted just like a radish. I cooked the remaining tubers by cutting them into bite-sized pieces and roasting them for 30 minutes on 400 degrees. After they cooled down, I excitedly tasted the foreign vegetable. Unfortunately, I was a bit disappointed. The outside was bitter and the radish aftertaste still remained. The texture was the same as a potato, but the taste was just too strong for me. I love trying new foods, but will not be purchasing anymore of these gems any time soon.

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