Before you begin to mock me (I know I would), hear me out. For the past few years, I've been hearing about how wonderful it is to cook with the sunchoke and the Meyer lemon. Loving to cook, I set out on a mission:
1. Figure out exactly what a sunchoke is.
2. Search the supermarket for Meyer lemons.
3. Find recipes with both ingredients.
Sounds simple, but you're wrong. Dead wrong. Well, items #1 and #3 were easy, but item #2 is impossible. I use the word "is" because I'm still on the hunt for it, and true to form, my search has left me laughing. Literally.
Before I tell you about my search for the elusive Meyer Lemon, let me define the sunchoke. A sunchoke, according to my Cook's Dictionary and Culinary Reference by Bartlett is a Jerusalem artichoke. Hmmmm... that's it. Why the fuss? I guess it helps to know that a Jerusalem artichoke is probably not what you envision, or at least what I envisioned. I envisioned a run-of-mill artichoke from Israel, but I'm wrong. Thank you Cook's Dictionary, I do cherish you, but sometimes I don't even understand the definitions and turned to Google. According to Wikipedia, it is a Jerusalem artichoke, which is a species of sunflowers native to eastern North America, and found from Eastern Canada and Maine west to North Dakota, and south to northern Florida and Texas. It is also cultivated widely across the temperate zone for its tuber, which is used as a root vegetable.
Once learning the sunchoke was more than what I imagined it to be, I understood the fascination...or maybe not. I just remember growing sunflowers when I was a kid and can't imagine my parents being okay with me pulling up the plant and chomping on the tuber. But I know one day, I'll try it.
However, back to the real purpose of today's entry: Searching for the elusive Meyer Lemon (sure, sunchoke is in the title because I have a feeling I'll run into a wall when looking for them too). I've been to 3 markets; 2 major supermarket chains and Whole Foods.
In the first supermarket chain, I didn't ask for help, but in the 2nd one I asked for help. Their produce section, in my opinion, is better than the first one, but the response I received had me cracking up. The produce guy kept repeating "You want a bottle of lemon juice?". No,no, that's not what I wanted, but realized when I kept trying to explain to him it is an actual lemon, and the puzzled look on his face was not disappearing, I figured the store didn't carry them.
YogaGirl told me to try Whole Foods. They are good about carrying some unusual veggies (hmmm...bet they have sunchokes) and when I asked the produce guy, he looked at me as if I had 2 heads. As soon as he began to speak, I understood the reason for the look; he really didn't speak English. However, I was able to discern they didn't have them in stock, but they will be in the store later. Later? Is that later today, tomorrow, August, December? Just got the answer of later.
I emailed the store to ask if and when they carry Meyer lemons. I figured whoever is reading the email will respond with an answer I'll be able to understand.
Note: If you have a recipe calling for 3 Meyer lemons and can't find them, use 2 regular lemons and one clementine.