Crosnes, or Chinese Artichokes

Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

  • About

Crosnes are small tubers of several species of Stachys, an Asian member of the mint family; they were brought from China to France in the late 19th century. Crosnes are crisp and taste nutty and sweet, something like a sunchoke. They’re notable for containing an unusual carbohydrate, stachyose, a combination of two galactoses and one sucrose. We can’t digest stachyose, so a large serving of crosnes can cause gassy discomfort. Crosnes contain little starch, and turn mushy when even slightly overcooked.