Artichokes

Jul 27, 2019

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow.  At a recent funeral in Columbia, the homily included remarks about the thousands of jars of artichoke relish the departed parsishoner had made over the years for an annual bazaar. Artichoke pickles are made from a native sunflower, Helianthus tuberosus. Believed to have first been domesticated by   western native americans, it’s now found in almost every state and in half of Canada. Typical yellow flowers atop tall stems and the roots consist of fleshy tubers, the edible part of the plant for us  (birds, of course, enjoy the mature flowerheads). Taken to Europe in early 1600, it quickly became a popular vegetable, and the name Jerusalem is probably a corruption of its Italian name, girasole articicco. The tubers contain inulin, a sugar precursor supposedly good for diabetics, but in certain dishes it can give you a horrible and painful case of gas.