Author Topic: Crosne  (Read 1144 times)

AnnieD

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Crosne
« on: April 10, 2021, 14:05:16 »
A chef used these on the Great British Menu and they looked really interesting - apparently also called Chinese Artichoke.

Anyone tried growing them?
Located in Royston, North Herts.

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Crosne
« on: April 10, 2021, 14:05:16 »

Obelixx

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Re: Crosne
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2021, 17:02:57 »
Yes.  Not worth it IMHO for either the yield or the flavour.
Obxx - Vendée France

saddad

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Re: Crosne
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2021, 19:37:37 »
I'd have to agree!

Vinlander

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Re: Crosne
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2021, 00:38:38 »
I like them - but I don't boil them (I try to avoid all time-honoured stereotypical English failures of imagination, especially culinary ones).

They provide a hint of sweet smokiness without the explosive effects of Jerusalem Artichokes.

They retain some crispness when lightly cooked or stir-fried, so they can be regarded as a water chestnut substitute - they are even better raw.

They are very easy to grow, fully perennial with few pests (you should never need to buy a fresh stock). Some greedy soil pests like wireworms from the last potato harvest might nibble the tubers.

They look like mint and are closely related, so they really need to be confined - a trench lined with plastic is a good idea (with a few small drain holes nowhere near the edges).

They are very easy to clean despite their deep creases because the skins are like teflon - a quick soak and a few strokes of a brush per tuber is usually enough.

OTOH the yields aren't huge - but I prefer a tasty but moderate yield with no trouble to a hard uphill slog growing something boring that's cheap in the shops anyway.

Cheers.
With a microholding you always get too much or bugger-all. (I'm fed up calling it an allotment garden - it just encourages the tidy-police).

The simple/complex split is more & more important: Simple fertilisers Poor, complex ones Good. Simple (old) poisons predictable, others (new) the opposite.

JanG

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Re: Crosne
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2021, 08:01:07 »
I’m wondering how they compare with oca. Some of your description could apply to oca too, Vinlander - small yield (for me, anyway) on the one hand but never lose them on the other, some invasion by wireworms, add crispness and texture to stir-fries rather like water chestnuts, small and with deep creases. 

Have you grown oca too, Vinlander. Any comparisons?

Obelixx

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Re: Crosne
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2021, 14:25:59 »
I tried crosne stir-fried after advice on here.  Not impressed but then i'm not keen on water chestnuts either.

Tried oka a couple of years ago - pretty plant, pretty, edible roots but, again, not as tasty as expected.

Other than the two new fruit plants - pomegranate and a  form of guava - I'm not trying any new veg varieties this year but concentrating on ones I know we like and which can do well here.   
Obxx - Vendée France

Vinlander

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Re: Crosne
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2021, 11:32:23 »
I’m wondering how they compare with oca. Some of your description could apply to oca too, Vinlander - small yield (for me, anyway) on the one hand but never lose them on the other, some invasion by wireworms, add crispness and texture to stir-fries rather like water chestnuts, small and with deep creases. 

Have you grown oca too, Vinlander. Any comparisons?

I must point out that people who think an alternative starchy root is going to have a strong taste (in the same league as parsnip/salsify/skirret/swede/white carrot/white beet etc) are expecting too much - it can only be compared to potato and maybe rice, maybe turnip, maybe bog standard white sliced bread. Premium rice and premium bread are nicer than potato IMHO. Tuberous pea is better than potato but only if it's boiled with the skin on and peeled after.

Oca are distinctly lemony (oxalic) and otherwise mostly taste of potato - they reputedly gain an almond flavour when left in a paper bag in the sun - unfortunately I won't be trying this soon because I lost all my stocks through moderate neglect in harsh weather and lockdown.

Crosne/CA have a subtle smoky taste best experienced by eating raw - otherwise they are as sweet and starchy as potato - and since I don't like the taste of boiled potato I prefer CA (I also prefer raw potato to boiled). When lightly cooked/stir fried CA can be as nice as premium rices like Basmati, but once they are fully cooked they are only as good as pudding rice (or potato).

The biggest 2 differences are that CA tubers are half the diameter of oca tubers the same length (so the biggest ever are only the size of my little finger) - and they roam much further - so you really need to constrain them in a lined trench or you will be moving 2 or 3 times as much earth to find and/or access the same crop.

You'd be right to say the shape means there's 4 x as much skin to clean per kilo - but since they are even more "Teflon" than oca it's not that bad.

Importantly, I'd say they are more bulletproof than Oca. With soil pests it's difficult to compare them as my own plot seems to have very variable soil pests - but CA doesn't seem to actually attract them and oca does a bit, but less than potatoes.

Cheers.
With a microholding you always get too much or bugger-all. (I'm fed up calling it an allotment garden - it just encourages the tidy-police).

The simple/complex split is more & more important: Simple fertilisers Poor, complex ones Good. Simple (old) poisons predictable, others (new) the opposite.

JanG

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Re: Crosne
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2021, 07:08:06 »
Thanks for the detailed reply, Vinlander. My oca tends to be pretty small, certainly a bit fatter than my little finger but never any longer. I think some people get more substantial tubers but I don’t usually get back all that much more than I plant. Perhaps double in a good year, but many are very tiny.

Obelixx

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Re: Crosne
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2021, 12:07:32 »
Even here where it's warmer I grew mine in the polytunnel and that meant they were watered from above along with the tomatoes in there.   Maybe that's why flavour was poor.   I've now moved to a seep hose rather than sprinkler system in there.

I doubt I'll see any here this year as they came from a specialist veggie garden, now gone bust, but maybe I'll try again and keep them outside and try them in salads rather than stir fried.   

Obxx - Vendée France

 

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