The Jerusalem artichoke boom is coming! Why are they so popular?

by naffy

The reason why Jerusalem artichokes have become popular

Originally, Jerusalem artichokes did not exist in Japan. Their place of origin is Canada through North America, stretching to around New York. The indigenous Topi Nambour tribe used them as a food source which spread to Europe and was brought to Japan from the late Edo to the early Meiji period. Although they were highly valued during World War II, Jerusalem artichokes gradually became forgotten after the war. Although lately, there has been a renewed popularity for Jerusalem artichokes, and more people are interested in trying them. So, in this article, we’ll explain the reasons why Jerusalem artichokes have become so popular.

As delicious and nutritious foods become more widely available to households, people have had fewer opportunities to come across lesser-known foods. Until recently, Jerusalem artichokes were only consumed in regions where they were produced. Due to their strong reproductive ability, they were a highly valued emergency food during wartime, but the taste and nutritional components were not particularly considered. However, in recent years, Jerusalem artichokes have re-gained popularity.

One of the largest factors behind their popularity is TV programs. As doctors and celebrities talk about the health and beauty benefits while introducing sunroots, even though it was previously only known to a few people, Jerusalem artichokes have rapidly gained recognition. Sunroot specials are broadcasted several times during prime time every year, so it’s no wonder that it receives attention. Needless to say, the power of the media was that significant.

The information conveyed on TV is often about sugar, so it may be of particular interest to those who are concerned about their sugar intake on a daily basis. Nowadays, low-carbohydrate diets have become popular, and more people are knowledgeable about the negative effects of excessive sugar intake. Therefore, it is possible that the popularity of Jerusalem artichokes will increase in the future.

Because sunroots are still an unfamiliar ingredient for many of us, let us introduce what Jerusalem artichokes are and the reasons for their popularity.


Jerusalem artichokes are often mistaken to be a type of potato, but it is a plant belonging to the sunflower family, Asteraceae. Unlike potatoes, it has very little starch content, and its crunchy texture is one of its most notable features. It is also rich in a water-soluble dietary fiber called inulin. The flavor and texture are more like lotus root than potatoes and has been described by TV shows as having a flavor similar to a slightly milder radish. This can be explained by the high water and low starch content creating a crunchy texture and reducing the potato-like qualities.

Reason for their popularity

So far, we have briefly explained the characteristics of Jerusalem artichokes. Among the characteristics of Jerusalem artichokes mentioned earlier, the one that is receiving the most attention is the dietary fiber called inulin. Recently, it was discovered that the inulin contained in Jerusalem artichokes can suppress the rise in postprandial blood glucose levels. Therefore, Jerusalem artichokes have rapidly gained attention from people who want to take measures against the rise in postprandial blood glucose levels.

Compared to other plants, Jerusalem artichokes contain a significantly higher amount of inulin and with all factors considered, it is the most efficient method of inulin intake. If inulin can suppress the rise in postprandial blood glucose levels, then there is no reason not to consume it. Moreover, even though we say we take dietary fiber, we usually only consume insoluble fiber called cellulose found in vegetables. As a result, it is difficult to take inulin in our daily diet. Therefore, it is necessary to be more aware and intentional about consuming inulin.

Even on TV programs, the spotlight is on the significance of inulin contained in Jerusalem artichokes and is usually introduced with people’s experiences after consumption and what kind of sensations they had. Since they are not a familiar ingredient in our daily lives, the even presenters on the program were also very interested in sunroots showing the captivating existence Jerusalem artichoke.

Since there are still many people who do not know about Jerusalem artichokes, it is likely that they will be featured again on TV programs in the future. If there is another special program, please check to see if Jerusalem artichokes are introduced.

However, even if you want to try Jerusalem artichokes, it is meaningless if you do not know how to obtain them. Therefore, let me tell you about how to get Jerusalem artichokes.

How can I get Jerusalem artichokes?

When asked about the methods of obtaining Jerusalem artichokes, most people may not be able to immediately think of a way. This is because they are not commonly sold in supermarkets, with exceptions for some regions. If it is the winter when sunroots are in season, they may be found at roadside stations or grocery stores near the production areas. However, since it is difficult to cultivate them in greenhouses and cannot be harvested all year round, it is not possible to enjoy Jerusalem artichoke dishes stably. Additionally, since they do not last long and cannot be stored for a long time, it is best to buy only the necessary amount, which is another unfortunate characteristic.

So how can people who live outside of the areas where Jerusalem artichokes access them? The easiest option is to buy it online. Major online shopping sites sell sunroots in kilograms, and prices range from about 1,000 to 3,000 yen making them relatively inexpensive and easy to obtain. Additionally, since fresh sunroots don’t preserve well, the dried product is also recommended. Dried Jerusalem artichokes can be soaked in water and used at any time of the year, making it perfect for those who want to incorporate it into their regular cooking. It’s also easy to stock up on, making it a convenient ingredient for homemakers.

Even so, cooking with Kikuyu takes some effort. For people who are busy with work, childcare, and housework every day, time-consuming cooking can be difficult. For such people, why not try taking Kikuyu in supplement form? With supplements, you can easily consume the Inulin found in Kikuyu anytime, anywhere. If you’re more interested in becoming healthy than cooking with Kikuyu, supplements are the quickest and easiest option. Choose the best way to consume Kikuyu based on your lifestyle.

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