Plain and simple, sunchokes, previously referred to as “Jerusalem artichokes”, make you fart. That being said, I believe that this really only pertains to consumption of raw sunchokes. The culprit? Inulin- a complex fructose-based carbohydrate that is not digestible by humans. According to the widely trusted Wikipedia (rolls eyes), most hydrolases (enzymes) can be inactivated at 200°F. As water-bath canning raises internal jar temperatures to 212°F, paired with the added acidity from vinegar, perhaps pickling can help alleviate some of the “wind producing” symptoms of sunchokes. Then again, perhaps not…
The week before last I met Jordan the quirky head farmer at Two Toad Farm (his business card is a pack of tobacco seeds- how cool is that!?). While attempting to recruit him as a speaker for the next Seacoast Food Swap, I was overly distracted by his small display of sunchokes… cough… “that’s what she said”. A couple months ago Keith experimented with some baked sunchoke chips; they turned out really good, especially the slightly burnt and crispy ones. I figured sweet, spicy, and nutty pickled sunchoke chips would be equally as tasty. I found and slightly modified this recipe from the Hunter Angler Gardener Cook blog. Enjoy these sweet & spicy pickled sunchokes straight out of the jar, with a mix of other pickles, or as a side to any Middle Eastern dish/stew.
Do you remember the first time you had a tomato off the vine? I do, it tasted nothing like the store bought tomatoes I always avoided (yuck). Aside from the color resemblance (kind of), the contrast in flavor, moisture, and texture between the fresh picked and store bought tomatoes was huge! You’re probably thinking, “why is Erin talking tomatoes if today’s post is clearly about eggs?” Well… I recently experienced my first backyard egg, collected from Feathered Pig Farms in Brentwood, NH, and let me tell you… I’m going to stop myself from rambling on as most of you have probably had backyard eggs before… but, oh my moon I can’t get over the sunshine yellow yolk color or how the moisture content was almost creamy. I know that there is a lot of discrepancy out there over whether there is really a distinguishable difference between supermarket vs. coop eggs and if “people’s perception of egg flavor is mostly psychological”. So until I can perform my own double blind experiment, I am going to assume that backyard eggs are by far more superior.
The inspiration behind these Sriracha pickled eggs comes from a few sources, the foremost being The Press Room, a dark and somewhat depressing, yet charming music venue/bar in downtown Portsmouth, NH. Typically a murky two gallon glass jug containing a mystery specimen that has been sitting on the bar-top for an unknown duration of time would cause me public health anxiety… But, for some reason, probably the 3 martinis and the company, I figured it would be a good life choice to sample one of their notorious pickled eggs. WOW! The vinegar plus spice was absolutely delectable. For my small batch of pickled eggs I loosely followed the direction of a forum post that I came across on spicy pickled eggs. My quart sized batch is currently siting in the refrigerator soaking up all the spicy vinegar’y goodness of Sriracha brine. If I can manage to hold off on devouring them and can sacrifice the fridge space (it’s getting a little ridiculous in there), I’ll probably let these eggs sit for another couple weeks before consuming.