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Jerusalem Artichoke

I have a salad recipe that says to use Jerusalem Artichokes.  I can't find them anywhere.  What are they and is there anything I can use instead?


Jerusalem artichokes aren't really artichokes at all.  They are the root tuber of a variety of sunflower plant.  According to the second edition of The Food Lover's Companion, the name actually comes from the italian word for sunflower, girasole.  Jerusalem artichoke is sometimes referred to as sunchoke, to avoid confusion with real artichokes.  Eaten raw, they are crisp and sweet, similar to jicama.

To substitute in the salad recipe, you could use any of jicama, kohlrabi, or celeriac.  Celeriac is the root of a variety of celery which is cultivated for its root.  Kohlrabi is slightly more bitter and cabbage tasting.

You could also try water chestnuts, depending on how the Jerusalem Artichoke is used.


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