Review Detail

Vegetables M Mark May 02, 2016 3468
It looks better than it tastes
(Updated: April 17, 2017)
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Easy to Grow? 
 
5.0
Taste 
 
2.0
Disease & Pest Resistance 
 
5.0
Productivity 
 
5.0
The Jerusalem artichoke is an easy to grow plant and the edible tubers are not too bad to eat but they're not wonderful either. When I gave my mother some to try she described the taste of the tubers as "very earthy" which was another way to say that she wasn't overly impressed by the flavour.

Another name for the Jerusalem artichoke is Earth Apple and my guess is that it wasn't named this because it's harvested from below the earth and has a crunchy texture but more so due to its "earthy" flavour.

Unfortunately, the tubers go soft within days of being harvested and whilst they can still be eaten the loss of the crunchy texture makes them less appealing. TIP: Leave tubers in the ground until you are ready to use them and they will stay hard if undisturbed.   

My mother also complained about how the Jerusalem artichoke tubers made her repeat (burp) after eating and this is because they are very high in dietary fibre; therefore, as the gut bacteria go to work consuming this food gases are produced and unfortunately, some people suffer worse than others. Personally, I don't have any issues with flatulence or burping after eating the tubers but many do...

However, it is important to note food high in dietary fibre (such as Jerusalem artichoke) is important for the stomach health and the overall health of humans, in particular, to help prevent bowel cancer.   

Although I would much prefer to eat a potato than a Jerusalem artichoke, they still make a good substitute for potatoes during the months when potatoes are difficult to grow due to the heat (here in the subtropics) so that can be a real plus for those wanting a root vegetable in season from their backyard. 

And in the end, the reason I keep growing Jerusalem artichokes is because it can substitute for potatoes and it also looks nice in the garden. But to be totally honest I wouldn't call it anything amazing...  

Since writing the above I have now discovered fermenting the root and this is an excellent way to create a great pickled snack and definitely adds more value overall to my opinion of why people should grow it.    

Plant Knowledge Base

I grow/have grown this plant

Where is this plant growing?

In Ground/Raised Bed

What is your Climate?

Organically Grown?

Yes

Fertilisers, Organics, or Other Supplements Used

Blood & bone, heavy mulch, chicken manure,

Favourite way to prepare/eat

Washed well and sliced thinly in salads it gives a pleasant crunch and sweetness. I think it's best cut into segments and fried in butter.

EDIT: I have revisited this review since learning and experimenting with fermentation on the Jerusalem artichoke root. Fermenting the root in small segments is my preferred way to prepare and eat this vegetable.

I was actually amazed at the taste transformation as a result of fermenting the root and I highly recommend you give it a try as it is very easy to do and healthy to eat.

Also, I'm considering dehydrating and then grinding to make Jerusalem artichoke flour this coming season.

Pros & Cons

Pros
Looks lovely in the garden big yellow flowers and tall stems.
Grows fast
Produces a good harvest of tubers
Will grow through middle of summer in sub-tropics when potatoes won't
Cons
Tubers deteriorate quickly after digging up
Flavour isn't fantastic (unless fermented)
Can make you fart and burp (often does) not as much if fermented.

Would You Grow this Plant Again?

Yes

If you purchased plant online - where?

How To Ferment Jerusalem Artichoke
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