Why You Should Avoid This Trendy Vegetable on a Date

Solar fishing rods, also known as Jerusalem artichoke, are now considered one of the most popular “vegetable” dishes, and they appear on all kinds of menus across the country. (Seriously, I’ve seen them in one form or another in the last five restaurants I’ve been to.) They’re delicious, but if the chef doesn’t know what they’re doing, they can hurt you a lot. …

The problem is inulin , a carbohydrate found in sunchokes, which can lead to quite a bit of tummy troubles. According to Harold McGee’s Food and Cooking , “Inulin is not absorbed, so it feeds the bacteria in our colon and releases gas.” Inulin content varies from “asphyxiant” to “asphyxiant” and sensitivities vary from person to person, so eating them is like the less lethal, highly gassed Russian roulette game with your intestines. How they cook can make a big difference, according to various chefs surveyed by Bon Appetit . Stuart Briosa of State Bird Provisions avoids whole roast hams, but has never had a problem with peeled, boiled and mashed or fried like chips.

My own dining experience confirms the above, as I never had any problems with tubers until I ordered a root vegetable curry with huge chunks of fried choks. I had just rubbed or fried them to death, so I was not prepared for the pain that followed. (And my interlocutor, poor fellow, wasn’t either.) My point is that you should be careful about sun chokes, ask how they prepare, and generally avoid them if you’re on a date, especially if it’s your first date. …

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