Sunchokes, also known as Jerusalem artichokes, are a peculiar fall tuber from the sunflower family. They look like fresh ginger and taste like a cross between a yellow potato and an artichoke – and they’re in markets now. They also contain an extremely high amount of a polysaccharide called inulin. Not insulin, inulin. Inulin is itself a fructan, made of a lot of fructose molecules, so people who have trouble absorbing a lot of fructose can have serious issues with inulin.
All this is to say that sunchokes should be eaten in moderation. Last year, before I knew all this, I decided to get creative and make a sunchoke soup. Big mistake. I won’t go into the details, but it quickly became clear that downing a whole bowl full of sunchokes was a gastrointestinal disaster. I do not recommend making the sunchoke soup of death!
On the other hand, maybe I can blame my heritage. Apparently 30-40% of Central Europeans suffer from fructose malabsorption, and I am a quarter Polish, so perhaps I got an unlucky draw of genes. For people with the right intestinal fortitude, I suppose sunchoke soup could be just fine. Still, as the Wiki says:
However, even in healthy people, only about 25-50 g of fructose per sitting can be absorbed. Persons with fructose malabsorption may absorb less than 25 g per sitting.
So go easy on the sunchokes. Personally, I won’t touch them ever again.