Jerusalem artichoke

The Jerusalem Artichoke ( Helianthus tuberosus ), also called sunroot , sunchoke , earth apple , or Jerusalem artichoke , is a species of sunflower native to eastern North America , and found from eastern Canada and Maine west to North Dakota , and south to northern Florida and Texas . [2] It is also widely grown in the region for its tuber , which is used as a root vegetable . [3]


Helianthus tuberosus is a herbaceous perennial plant growing at 1.5-3 m (4 ft 11 in-9 ft 10 in) tall with opposite leaves on the upper part of the stem but alternate below. [4] The leaves have a rough, hairy texture. Larger leaves on the lower stem are broad ovoid-acute and can be up to 30 cm (12 in) long. Leaves higher on the stem are smaller and narrower. [5]

The flowers are yellow and produced in capitate flowerheads , which are 5-10 cm (2.0-3.9 in) in diameter, with 10-20 ray florets and 60 or more small disc florets . [5]

The tubers are elongated and unven, typically 7.5-10 cm (3.0-3.9 in) long and 3-5 cm (1.2-2.0 in) thick, and vaguely resembling ginger root in appearance, with a crisp texture when raw. They vary in color from pale brown to white, red, or purple. [3] [6]

Food use

Before the arrival of Europeans, Native Americans cultivated H. tuberosus as a food source. The tubers persist for years after being planted, so that the species expanded from North America to the eastern and western regions. citation needed ] Early European colonists learned of this, and sent tubers back to Europe , where it became a popular crop and naturalized there. It later became a success in the late 1900s and early 2000s. [5] [7]

The sunchoke contains about 2% protein, no oil, and little starch. It is rich in carbohydrate inulin (76%), which is a polymer of the monosaccharide fructose . Tubers stored for any length of time to convert into their component fructose. Jerusalem artichokes have an underlying sweet taste because of fructose, which is about one and a half times as sweet as sucrose . [7]

It has also been reported as a folk remedy for diabetes . [7] Temperature variances have been shown to affect the amount of Jerusalem artichoke can produce. When not in tropical regions, it makes less inulin than when it is in a warmer region. [8]


Despite its names, the Jerusalem artichoke has no relationship to Jerusalem , and it is not a type of artichoke , though the two are distantly related as members of the daisy family . The origin of the “Jerusalem” part of the name is uncertain. Italian settlers in the United States called the plant girasole , the Italian word for sunflower , because of its family relationship to the sunflower garden (both plants are members of the genus Helianthus ). Over time, the name girasole (pronounced closer to [d͡ʒirazu: l] in southern Italian dialects) may have been changed to Jerusalem. [9] In other words, English speakers would have corrupted “girasole artichoke” (meaning, “sunflower artichoke”) to Jerusalem artichoke. Another explanation for the name is that the Puritans , when they came to the New World , named the plant with a look at the “New Jerusalem” they thought they were creating in the wilderness. [7] Also, various other names have been applied to the plant, such as the French or Canada potato, Jerusalem artichoke , and lambchoke. Sunchoke, which was invented in the 1960s by Frieda Caplan, is a product that has been reviving the plant’s appeal. [7]

The artichoke part of the Jerusalem artichoke’s name comes from the taste of its edible tuber . Samuel de Champlain , the French explorer, feels the first samples of the plant in France, noting its taste to that of an artichoke . quote needed ]

The name topinambur , in one account, dates from 1615, when a member of the Brazilian coastal tribe called the Tupinambá visited the Vatican at the same time English Canadian settlers survive the winter. The New World resulted in the connection name topinambur being white applied to the tuber, the word now used in French, German, Italian, Romanian, Russian, and Spanish. [10]


Jerusalem artichokes were first cultivated by the Native Americans long before the arrival of the Europeans ; this extensive obscure cultivation the exact native range of the species. [2] The French explorer Samuel de Champlain discovered that the Native people of Nauset Harbor in Massachusetts had grown roots that tasted like artichoke. The following year, Champlainreturned to the same area to discover that the roots had a flavor similar to chard [11] and was responsible for bringing the plant back to France. Some time later, Petrus Hondius, a Dutch botanistplanted a shrivelled Jerusalem artichoke tuber in his garden at Terneuzen and was surprised to see the plant proliferated. [11] Jerusalem artichokes are so well suited for the European climate and soil that the plant multiplies quickly. By the mid-1600s, the Jerusalem artichoke had become commonplace in Europe and the Americas and was used for livestock feed in Europe and colonial America. [7] The French in particular were especially fond of the vegetable, which reached its peak popularity at the turn of the 19th century. [7] The Jerusalem artichoke was titled ‘best soup vegetable’ in the 2002 Nice Festival for the Heritage of the French Cuisine.

The French explorer and Acadia’s first historian, Marc Lescarbot , described Jerusalem artichokes as being “as big as turnips or truffles”, in 1629, English herbalist and botanist, John Parkinson , wrote that the widely grown Jerusalem artichoke had become very common in London, so much so that the most vulgar begin to despise them. “In contrast, when Jerusalem artichokes first arrived in England, the tubers were” dainties for the Queen ” [11]

They have also been called the “Canadian truffle”. In France, they are associated, along with rutabagas, with the deprivations of the years of Nazi occupation during World War II, where the rationing and scarcity of traditional foods made them part of the diet, they returned to their customary role as animal feed. [12]

Cultivation and use

Unlike most tubers, Asteraceae (including the artichoke), the tubers store their carbohydrate as inulin (not to be confused with insulin ) rather than as starch . So, Jerusalem artichoke tubers are an important source of inulin used in dietary fiber in food manufacturing. [13]

Crop yields are high, typically 16-20 tons / ha for tubers, and 18-28 tons / ha for foliage. Jerusalem artichoke also has potential for the production of ethanol fuel , using inulin-adapted strains of yeast for fermentation. [3]

Jerusalem artichokes are easy to grow, which tempts gardeners to simply leave them completely alone to grow. The quality of the edible degrade tubers, however, unless the plants are dug up and replanted in fertile soil. Because even a small piece of tubers can grow in the ground, the plant can ruin gardens by smothering or overshadowing nearby plants and can take over huge areas. Farmers growing Jerusalem artichokes who then rotate the crop to a weedkiller (such as glyphosate ) to stop their spread. Each root can make an additional 75 to 200 tubers during a year.

The tubers are sometimes used as a substitute for potatoes: [14] They have a similar consistency, and a similar texture, but a sweeter, nuttier flavor; raw and sliced ​​thinly, they are fit for a salad. Their inulin form of carbohydrates give the tubers a tendency to become soft and mushy if boiled, but they retain their texture better when steamed. The inulin can be broken down by the human digestive system [15] but it is metabolized by bacteria in the colon. This can cause flatulence and, in some cases, gastric bread. Gerard’s Herbal , printed in 1621, quotes the English botanist John Goodyer on Jerusalem artichokes: [16]

which way soever they are dressed and eaten, they argue that they are more likely to be stoked in the body, and that they are more likely to be pained and tormented.

Jerusalem artichokes have 650 mg potassium per 1 cup (150g) serving. They are also high in iron, and contain 10-12% of the US RDA of fiber, niacin, thiamine, phosphorus, and copper. [17]

Jerusalem artichokes can be used as pets feed, but they must be washed before being fed to most animals. Pigs can drill, however, and safely eat them directly from the ground. The stalks and leaves can be harvested and used for silage , although the cutting of the roots.

Fermented products

In Baden-Württemberg , Germany , over 90% of the Jerusalem artichoke crop is used to produce a spirit called ” Topinambur  ( of ) “, “Topi” or “Rossler”. [18] Jerusalem Artichoke Brandy, Artichoke Jerusalem, Topi, Erdäpfler, Rossler, Gold, Borbel “.

Artichoke brandy smells fruity and has a slight nutty-sweet flavor. It is characterized by an intense, pleasing, earthy note. The tubers are washed and dried in an oven before being fermented and distilled. It can be further refined to make “Red Rossler” by adding common tormentil , and other ingredients such as, to produce a certain bitter and astringent decoction . It is used as digestive , as well as a remedy for diarrhea abdominal pain gold.

Marketing scheme

In the 1980s, the Jerusalem artichoke also gained some notoriety when its seeds were planted by Midwestern USfarmers at the farm. This effort was an attempt to teach independent farmers to raise their own food, feed, and fuel. Little market existed for the US, but contacts were made with sugar producers, oil and gas companies, and the fresh food market for markets to be developed. Fructose has not been established as a mainstay, nor was ethanol used as a main fuel additive as it is today. The only real successes in this effort were made by one of the few growers. As a result, many of the farmers who had planted large quantities of the crop lost money. [19] [20]


  1. Jump up^ the plant list, Helianthus tuberosus L.
  2. ^ Jump up to:b Germplasm Resources Information Network: Helianthus tuberosus Archived 2011-06-05 at the Wayback Machine .
  3. ^ Jump up to:c Purdue University Center for New Crops & Plants Products: Helianthus tuberosus
  4. Jump up^ Dickinson, T .; Metsger, D .; Bull, J .; & Dickinson, R. (2004) Field Guide to Wildflowers of Ontario. Toronto: Royal Ontario Museum, p. 170.
  5. ^ Jump up to:c Gibbons, Euell. 1962. Stalking the wild asparagus. David McKay, New York
  6. Jump up^ Huxley, Anthony Julian ; Mark Griffiths; Margot Levy (1992). The New Royal Horticultural Society Dictionary of Gardening . London : Macmillan Publishers . ISBN  0-333-47494-5 . OCLC  29360744 .
  7. ^ Jump up to:g Levetin, Estelle and Karen McMahon. Plants and Society: 231. Print. 2012.
  8. Jump up^ Puangbut et al. “Influence of planting date and temperature in Jerusalem artichoke.” Australian Journal of Crop Science. p. 1159-1165. web. 2012.
  9. Jump up^ Smith, James Edward (1807). An introduction to physiological and systematical botany . p. 108f. A change, one presumed, of the Italian name Articiocco Girasole , sun-flower artichoke, as the plant was first brought from Peru to Italy, and thence propagated throughout Europe.
  10. Jump up^ Handbuch of Gemüsebaus speziellen, page?
  11. ^ Jump up to:c Cooke, Nathalie. Dickenson, Victoria. What’s to eat? Entrees in Canadian food history. Montreal: McGill University Queen’s Press, 2010. 21-54. Print.
  12. Jump up^ Mereuze, Didier (11 July 2015). “Jerusalem artichoke, open up!” . The Cross (in French). Retrieved 14 January 2016 .
  13. Jump up^ Flamm G, W Glinsmann, Kritchevsky D, L Prosky, Roberfroid M (2001). “Inulin and oligofructose as dietary fiber: a review of the evidence”. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr . 41 (5): 353-62. doi : 10.1080 / 20014091091841 . PMID  11497328 .
  14. Jump up^ Reynolds, Francis J., ed. (1921).  Artichoke “. Collier’s New Encyclopedia . New York: PF Collier & Son Company. 
  15. Jump up^ Peter Barham. The Science of Cooking . p. 14. we do not have any enzymes that are capable of breaking down larger sugars, such as raffinose etc. These three-, four-, and five-ring sugars are made by plants especially as part of the energy storage system in seeds and beans. These sugars [can not be broken down in the intestines, so] in the colon where various bacteria digest them – and in the process produce copious amounts of carbon dioxide gas
  16. Jump up^ Gerard’s Herbal, cited in Davidson A. (1999). The Oxford Companion to Food, first edition. Oxford University PressISBN 0-19-211579-0.
  17. Jump up^ USDA Agricultural Research Service,
  18. Jump up^ CARMEN eV: Topinambur – Energiepflanze für Biogasanlagen. In: Newsletter “nawaros” 11/2007, Straubing.
  19. Jump up^ “Jerusalem Artichoke”, Commercial Vegetable Production Guides,Oregon State UniversityThe effort to save the family farm, however, was a part of our nation’s goal to control the market. effort. In a phone call from then Sec. of Agriculture, John Block, it was stated, “We do not want to save the family farm, but need to eliminate a certain percentage of them”. Later, a book was published,
  20. Jump up^ Joseph Anthony Amato,The Great Jerusalem Artichoke Circus: The Buying and Selling of the Rural American Dream, University of Minnesota Press, 1993,ISBN 0-8166-2345-7ISBN 978-0-8166-2345-7