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Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus)

A tuber, originating in North America, related to the sunflower (helianthus annuus). The name Jerusalem is probably a corruption of Terneuzen (the place in Holland from which the artichokes were first introduced to England in 1617).

The tubers make excellent vegetables, but first need peeling, so choose the less knobbly examples - although modern varieties tend to be smoother. They can them be made into soup, treated in the same way as new potatoes (but without the mint) or made into a purée with an equal quantity of mashed potato. They have the reputation of producing flatulence in some people.

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