Topinambur: origins, history and curiosities

What is Jerusalem artichoke? What are its origins and history? Also called Jerusalem artichoke, the Jerusalem artichoke is a very ancient tuber that has however recently met our kitchens. Let’s discover together the origins of Jerusalem artichoke, its history and also some delicious recipes to try.

What is Jerusalem artichoke and how to choose it

When it comes to Jerusalem artichoke means the rhizome of the plant Helianthus tuberosus. It is an annual plant belonging to the family of Asteraceae. Jerusalem artichoke is a herbaceous plant widespread in humble and sunny areas that grows spontaneously along water courses (streams, rivers). The Jerusalem artichoke plant has a single stem with leaves opposite at the base and alternating towards the top, a typical feature of these species. It flowers between August and October, at which time it then blooms. The edible tubers are harvested in winter when the surface plant is dry. THE Jerusalem artichoke tubers they are harvested after the first winter frosts, when their taste is particularly sweet and pleasant. Jerusalem artichokes are harvested by hand by making space in the ground up to about 30 cm deep.

Topinambur: origins and history

The Jerusalem artichoke originates from Nord America he was born in Canada. There is relevance of the first crops in South America already around 1400. Initially appreciated only as an ornamental plant for its beautiful yellow flowers reminiscent of sunflowers, the Jerusalem artichoke was tasted for the first time during the 15th century by an explorer of French origins. It was like this exported to Europe where it had some success, which however was soon replaced by potatoes, which are easier to store and clean.

How to store Jerusalem artichokes

After their harvest, the Jerusalem artichokes can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 10 days wrapped in a cloth and closed inside a food bag.

All names of Jerusalem artichoke

The bizarre name of Jerusalem artichoke is not the only one given to this very pleasant tuber. It is also called:

  • Jerusalem artichoke: despite not having origins in this city and not being an artichoke, it is often called that, perhaps because of the flavor that reminds it. The origins of this name are uncertain, some argue that the Anglo-Saxon Puritans, once they arrived in the New World, had called this herbaceous plantin honor of the New Jerusalem they intended to found in the newly discovered territories. Another faction claims instead that it is awrong pronunciation by the Anglophone peoples of the word sunflower, term used by Italian settlers in North America to call the yellow flower of this plant. Probably over time the word artichoke sunflower has been contaminated in the English-speaking pronunciation in Jerusalem artichokeEnglish correspondent of the Jerusalem artichoke.
  • Sunflower of Canada: name that derives from the appearance of the flower of this plant, which is very similar to a sunflower and whose first discoveries took place in Canada.
  • German turnip: name that dates back to the arrival of this vegetable in Germany in the seventeenth century, where it was considered a very refined food.
  • Canadian truffle: for the lumpy shape of this food which in its size vaguely recalls the truffles of North America.
  • potato canada: name attributed to it by a Brazilian tribe
  • Other names of uncertain origin: cane artichoke, patacca, trifola, taratufolo.

Properties of Jerusalem artichoke

Il Jerusalem artichoke has several beneficial properties for our organism, it is a vegetable rich in carbohydratesOf water e you inulina soluble dietary fiber similar to potato starch but is metabolized in the colon. These characteristics make it a precious one probiotic foodwhich promotes digestion and development of useful bacteria come i lactobacilli. The contribution of the latter in the intestinal microflora makes the Jerusalem artichoke a food often indicated for breastfeeding women or during the pregnancy, as these bacteria stimulate the production of breast milk. The consumption of Jerusalem artichoke at the table it is also appreciated for the different benefits which brings in one low calorie diet e hypoglycemicincluding that of containing the absorption of cholesterolOf regulate blood sugar and blood glucose and to promote the intestinal health. Quest’tuber vegetable is ultimately devoid of gluten and contains significant amounts of vitamins of group A, B and C and of potassiumthus going to support the immune system and to combat stress, tiredness and muscle fatigue.

What does Jerusalem artichoke taste like?

The taste of the Jerusalem artichoke is very reminiscent of that of artichoke and its texture is similar to that of potato. Unlike the potato, the Jerusalem artichoke is eaten both raw and cooked, with the peel (only if cleaned very well) or after having peeled it if the peel is too thick. THE Jerusalem artichoke tubers they are small and lumpy, slightly pink on the surface.

The Jerusalem artichoke in the kitchen

Il Jerusalem artichoke it’s a vegetable whose roots with tuber they have different and tasty you use in the kitchen. His taste it is delicate and his texture is crunchy on the palate. These two features allow for numerous pairingsthis makes one food much appreciated in domestic cooking but also in haute cuisine and in various recipes of the vegan and vegetarian cuisine. If consumed rawil Jerusalem artichoke can be enjoyed with all its peel and is perfect in the a salads with dried fruit such as almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts and cashews; it can also be grated and added to soups and stews. If eaten cottoil Jerusalem artichoke she reduces her calorie intake and hers nutritional values and lends itself to the preparation of first and second courses and side dishes. Excellent in the form of cream, purée, chips, but also simply sautéed in a pan with a drizzle of oil.

Recipes with Jerusalem artichoke

Jerusalem artichoke cream

The Jerusalem artichoke cream it is very light, precisely because this tuber with a particular and delicate flavor, halfway between a potato and an artichoke, is low in calories and highly nutritious. Tasty and energizing, the Jerusalem artichoke can be used to prepare a perfect cream for any accompaniment, a sort of fragrant and delicious velvety.

Jerusalem artichoke risotto

Il Risotto with Jerusalem artichokes it is a dish with a pleasant and delicate flavour, in which the thickness of the rice meets the particular taste of these tubers with a thousand qualities. His secret? The creaminess!

Baked Jerusalem artichokes

Jerusalem artichoke is cooked like potatoes and if done baked it can be truly exquisite, as well as being a refined and elegant dish. Try it in the oven and it will become one of your favorite side dishes.

Pan-fried Jerusalem artichokes

If you are looking for an easy, quick and very tasty recipe, the pan-fried Jerusalem artichokes that’s what’s right for you. Try it as a side dish to accompany dishes based on white meat or fish.

Tasty Jerusalem artichokes

I Tasty Jerusalem artichokes they will be washed and cleaned carefully before being boiled while separately a sauce will be prepared with flour, oil and vegetable broth by incorporating the thyme during cooking and then adding the egg yolk; the sauce will then be combined with the drained and sliced ​​Jerusalem artichokes and finally the whole thing, sprinkled with Parmesan, will be placed in the oven for gratinating. Yummy!

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