Okay, the Jerusalem artichokes are not artichokes at all nor do they come from Jerusalem. They are closely related to sunflower and they are gorgeous to eat. I bought plenty today at the trading table of the UCAF Morning Coffee with a guest speaker from Mission Aviation Fellowship. My Mum used to grow these little artichokes next to our tennis court and if I remember rightly she baked them, so I hope they will cook okay with the two plump chickens!
from a google search:
Jerusalem artichokes originated in North America and the part we eat is an edible tuber. They can be eaten raw or cooked, and many people believe strongly in their health benefits. Vegetarians should note that Jerusalem artichokes contain large quantities of iron. Jerusalem artichokes are sometimes recommended for diabetics too, as they contain inulin, a starch that is not utilised by the body for energy, as opposed to sugar. The vegetable is therefore filling like a potato, but should not affect blood sugar levels. (Nb: Despite the similarity of its name to insulin, inulin has no connection with that hormone either chemically or through physiological activity)
Fresh vegetables appear plump and healthy. Avoid Jerusalem artichokes that have a greenish tinge, those that are sprouting, or ones that are shrivelled or mouldy. They're at their best from autumn through winter.
One final word on Jerusalem artichokes, a delicate matter regarding health which is perhaps best summed up by the 17th Century Botanist John Goodyer:
"But in my judgement, which way soever they be drest and eaten they stir up and cause a filthie loathesome stinking winde with the bodie, thereby causing the belly to bee much pained and tormented, and are a meat more fit for swine, than men."
Okay I'll watch out for the after effects tonight!