The Backyard Larder

A place to explore and buy perennial vegetables and other food plants.

Jerusalem Artichokes and the Wind (of the flatulent kind)

I’ve eaten Jerusalem artichoke soup three days in a row!

Jerusalem artichokes

I wanted to try out two further suggestions for reducing the flatulent effects of eating these tubers. My previous reading on this topic and experiments are recorded here (harvesting very late – which didn’t make any difference for me) and here (fermentation – which did seem to work).

The first further idea was to add asafoetida when cooking the onions and garlic for the soup.

Aesfoetida compound

Asafoetida is the dried and crushed sap from Ferula assafoetida and other Ferula species. (The ‘Ferula scorodesma’ label in the drawing below is a synonym for Ferula assafoetida).

Ferula asafoetida

Asafoetida is widely recommended in India and Thailand as a digestive aid and to reduce flatulence. Other spices and herbs said to help include sage, thyme, garlic, fennel, dill, winter savory, caraway, cardamon, cloves, cinnamon. But asafoetida seems to be especially recommended and is one I had never tried before. It has a strong aroma which disappears on cooking.

The second idea was to cook the artichokes in lemon juice before adding them to the pot. The suggestion comes from Kristan Lawson writing in Modern Farmer. This ‘acid hydolysis’ is said to convert the inulin (the indigestible carbohydrate in the tubers) to fructose and small amounts of glucose.


The lemon juice turned the artichokes pink (and gave the finished soup a very lemonly flavour!)

Jerusalem artichoke cooked in lemon juice

These are the artichokes cooked without the lemon juice.

Chopped Jerusalem artichokes

In the picture the soup with lemon juice is in the foregound, asafoetida version in the middle and soup with no extra additions (bar some onions and garlic, salt, pepper and water) at the back.

JA soup with lemon juice, with asafoetida and with no additions

Sadly I had symptoms in the evening after all three lunchtime bowls of soup. Of course my problems could have been caused by other foods eaten the same day. So I’d be delighted if any readers of this post would like to try the same and report back.

Meanwhile I’ll go back to just fermenting my Jerusalem artichokes.

2 comments on “Jerusalem Artichokes and the Wind (of the flatulent kind)”

    You can pickle them (vinegar) with turmeric for a tasty crunchy wind free snack!
    I once roasted them on charcoal from an allotment bonfire. They were delicious and I’m guessing the wood ash helped alleviate any issues!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *