Jerusalem Artichoke

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

Helianthus tuberosus, a plant which does not come from Jerusalem and has nothing to do with the globe artichoke, nor with the chinese artichoke. The Jerusalem artichoke is a N. American relative of the sunflower, itself native to Peru. Its tubers, and those of related species, were eaten by Indians, especially in what is now Canada, where other edible tubers would not grow. It was noted there in 1603 by the explorer Samuel de Champlain, who himself started the whole confusion by writing of ‘roots which they cultivate, and which taste like an artichoke’.