Lynn LeCorre
Artist and Art Educator

Blog

(posted on 1 Dec 2014)

WEEK 12 - BLOG CHALLENGE - Sunchokes!



I am always open to trying new foods- especially vegetables and these Sunchokes jumped out at me for their unique appearance. They look like a ginger root, but are a tuber root and taste a bit like a potato with a crunchy texture. They are also known as Jerusalem Artichokes as well as Canadian Artichokes.

They were actually grown as a Native American Sunflower, but the tubers were eaten too. According to Canadian Gardening magazine, they are easy to grow - too easy as they can be invasive. Some consider this plant a weed, but in late summer it has small yellow flowers and the cold Canadian weather creates a sweet, crisp tuber.

Initially I was drawn to this root vegetable because of it's unique form, but I really enjoyed the simple recipe on the back of the package, so I know I'll be buying them again. Oh yes, and they were organic too! It's hard to find organic potatoes out of harvest season, so consider this a great alternative to eating potatoes in the winter season.

They have double the fiber of potatoes and a whopping 400 times more thiamine (vitamin B1), which is important for muscle function, the functioning of the central nervous system, the metabolism of carbohydrates, and digestion. (These numbers and other nutritional information come from the USDA's National Agricultural Library.)

Pastel drawing

I was drawn to the bumpy forms on these sunchokes as well as the interesting layers of it's outer peel. The layers of skin create a stripe pattern. Some of the bumps look like faces on the tubers. Of course, I couldn't just draw one sunchoke as that would be a boring composition, so following the rule of 3's or odd numbers, I made an arrangment and cropped some of the sunchokes to create more interesting negative spaces (background shapes). The background space is just as important as the object in a good composition and the knobby forms of these create unique spaces.

Roasted Sunchokes.docx

How to get started...
1) Introduce sunchokes into your diet this week. Use the recipe provided or find your own.

2) Sunchokes are almost sculptural forms in themselves. Try making a sculpture out of them, by piercing them with toothpicks or skewers and attaching them together. Poke a short skewer into one tuber, then attach another tuber to the end of that tuber. Keep adding in any direction to make a tower or scultpure. Take a photo before you take it apart to slice them and cook them. Use your imagination.


Keep it simple and have fun and submit your 'creations' to me at lynnldallaire@gmail.com so I can track your progress for your prize!

Share your recipes on Facebook, or email them to me and I can share them too!