Posted by: hearttohearthcookery | October 13, 2009

Sunchokes-A Native Food

Sunchoke tubers

Sunchoke tubers

The native sunchoke (also known as Jerusalem artichoke) is not a member of the artichoke family at all but related to the sunflower.   The tuberous plant grew wild along the eastern seaboard from Georgia to Nova Scotia.   The plant is tall like the sunflower and can grow from 3 to 12 feet high.  In the fall, a yellow flower, small for the size of the plant emerges.

The tubers, with food stored for the plant in the winter, are harvested and boiled or roasted in the fall or very early spring.  Fall is the best.  This past weekend, I rubbed the tuber with bear grease and wrapped it in a corn leaf and roasted the sunchokes in the embers.  The process of wrapping and roasting is pictured below. (Look carefully for the wrapped sunchoke in the ashes!)  The taste is one of delicate sweetness and nutty. 

Please visit my website  There are two upcoming fall classes.  One November 7th and the other November 14th!

Preparing and roasting sunchokes

Preparing and roasting sunchokes




  1. Hi Susan, long time no see. Love the ‘Sunchoke’ recipe, just an aside, I’ve got a 18thC recipt book wot refers to them as Canadian Potatos but you prob’ly knew that.

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