Sunday, May 15, 2011

Can you tell the difference?

We need your help, people.

We're having another argument.

Can you tell me what this is?

Picture #1

Can you tell me what this is?

Picture #2

Are these the same thing?

What is this?  Or rather, what are these?

Picture #1 (and the item on the left in the picture above) is a sunchoke.

Huh?  A sunchoke?

Yes, a sunchoke.  Don't worry--we're not trying to be hoity-toity here.  We had never heard of a sunchoke till January, when the theme for Iron Chef was "New Year, New Ingredient".  We had no idea what to make, so we just wandered  around our favorite place, Smith's Marketplace, looking for an ingredient we'd never used before.

A sunchoke is also called a Jerusalem artichoke.  I found out that it really doesn't come from Jerusalem or even resembles an artichoke.  It's a tuber that is potato-like, but a little sweeter.  The plant that stems from these tubers looks like a sunflower.

We made a lovely stew with these sunchokes and it was a hit at Iron Chef.

Anyway, I asked Lee to pick up some fresh ginger for some tandoori chicken that we were grilling up.  He came back with a sunchoke.

He argued that they look exactly the same.  I don't think they do, but maybe it's because I grew up putting ginger in everything.  Do you think they look the same?

Does this look like a ginger or a sunchoke?
Sunchoke or ginger?

Can you tell now?

Lee was having a little too much fun trying to make them look the same AND being a bunny rabbit.

Do you have any good recipes for sunchokes?  We have a couple sitting in our fridge now...


  1. They do look similar but the skin on the ginger is more shiny! (or something).

  2. My parents grew some of the Jerusalem artichokes this past year. I really liked them cooked as hashbrowns. Really, with few exceptions, you could probably use them in place of potatoes in your favorite recipe. However, eating large quantities of sunchokes can have adverse implications. (ie, they cause some gas issues in some people). But I can see how he got confused, but I mixed up cilantro and parsley the other day, so don't take my word for it.

  3. oh my I am uncultured in the world of fine food. First of all, my ginger comes in a powder form from a jar cuz I'm lazy. Second of all, I don't have a second thing to say, but again my laziness stops me from deleting "first of all."

  4. does Lee know how to read? They have signs above them?

  5. Does Lee know how to read? They have signs above them to help people like him out, they even have people who work in the store to ask :)


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