Sunchokes are thin-skinned, knobby, and resemble the look of ginger. Measuring an average of 7.5 – 10 centimeters long, these tubers are the root stem of a variety of sunflower that grows up to ten feet tall. Sunchoke varieties can vary in appearance, some have “eyes” similar to potatoes, some are smooth, whereas others are more knobbed. The tubers have a light-beige to tan colored skin, with a crisp and juicy, ivory flesh. Raw Sunchokes have a texture similar to water chestnuts and a sweet, nutty flavor.
Sunchokes can be used in place of potatoes in any recipe, though they have more moisture and no starch, so cooking times can differ. The knobby tuber is said to be best when roasted, though it can be served raw in salads, baked like fries, boiled and mashed or pureed into a soup. Serve raw sliced Sunchokes in a crudité with creamy or oily dips. To remove the thin skin, scrub the choke beneath running water and use a peeler or the edge of a spoon to remove skin around larger knobby areas. Sunchokes will keep in the refrigerator for up to a month if wrapped in plastic.