Cleaning up a communal box last week we were lucky enough to dig up a bouquet of healthy looking Jerusalem Artichokes. According to a few of the gardeners up at the laneway, Jerusalem Artichokes are notorious for causing flatulence: in the words of one gardener, the last time they ate the stuff "it wasn't worth it!" However before the chokes could be chucked on the compost heap, the fabulous Antoinette came to the rescue with a remedy a chef once told her. This technique involves soaking the artichokes with 1 tsp. of bicarb soda for at least a few hours before you intend to cook them, afterwhich you can enjoy the chokes fart-free.
With some trepidation we bought the bouquet home, scrubbed the little fellas, and dutifully soaked them in a big bowl of water with said bicarb soda. We left them for rather longer than what had been suggested (in the hope that it would really work), and then Neil put together a simple soup. We ate the first few spoonfuls slowly and waited. Nothing. A few spoonfuls more and we'd stopped worrying about our innards and were simply enjoying the delicious flavour: at once creamy, nutty and spicy - unlike any vegetable I've tasted before. After that we completely forgot about their fart-inducing reputation and downed the lot. And it seems Antoinette's chef was right, the diagnosis from Neil was "no more farts than usual!"