The Jerusalem Artichoke has nothing to do with Jerusalem. Also, it’s not an artichoke.

By Simple Happy Kitchen news team |
January 31, 2022

We’re sorry to be the ones to break it to you, but this delicious, smoky root vegetable really has one of the most misleading names ever. Then if it’s not an artichoke, what is it? And where did it get this weird name from?

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a jerusalem artichoke flirting with the sun

Well, the Jerusalem artichoke is actually a variety of... sunflower! Which explains some of its other names (sunroot, sunchoke, wild sunflower).

Also, have you ever seen the flowers that grow out of this delicious lumpy root? They look like tiny sunflowers.

It was first cultivated by the Indigenous peoples of the Americas and brought to Europe by a French explorer who claimed they tasted like artichokes.

Yes, that’s it. That’s the whole explanation. And also the reason we still call them artichokes to this day, despite them having almost nothing to do with artichokes. 

What about the Jerusalem part? Well, we don’t know for sure, but one theory claims that’s just a corruption of the Italian word for sunflower: girasola. Well, at least at some point they did try to name it something relevant.

Whatever they’re called, Jerusalem artichokes are super delicious AND rich in iron, potassium and vitamin B1 ✨ They’re also recommended as a potato substitute for diabetics since they may assist in blood sugar control

So in the end, we forgive them for having the most confusing name ever.

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