The first time I ate sunchokes (also known as Jerusalem artichokes), my friend was visiting from Paris for the holidays. We dug the oddly-shaped beige tubers out of my parent’s garden and roasted them in the oven until their flesh turned completely soft, almost melting. We slathered them in butter. They were absolutely exquisite, creamy with a deep nutty flavor reminiscent of sunflowers. We were enchanted! We repeated the process to accompany several of our holiday meals. But over those holidays, we couldn’t help but notice we all felt a little bit… er, how should I say it? Windy. We figured it was all the rich foods we were eating. But once she was back home, my friend happened upon an article about sunchokes and how trendy they were becoming in France. The article also mentioned the unfortunate side effect of this delicious root vegetable. Like beans, they can be a little bit hard to digest, for some people more than others. In other words, they can cause a fair amount of flatulence. Or as the English botanist John Goodyer wrote in 1621: “they stir and cause a filthy loathsome stinking wind within the body”. To which I would say, now now, that’s a wee bit of an exaggeration isn’t it? And anyway, there happens to be a perfectly brilliant solution to this little problem. The answer, it turns out, is to pickle the little guys!
Continue reading “Camelia’s Lacto-Fermented Pickled Sunchokes”