Named for things that please me (“me gusta” in Spanish) and rhymes with balabusta (Yiddish for “good homemaker”).

Don’t Mess with a Crone when It Comes to Crones

OK, if you look like George Clooney, we’ll let you get away with it. And perhaps schedule a private myMEGusta tutorial.


Crones – A Vegetable

The scenario: Bouchard, a fabulous French restaurant in Newport, Rhode Island.

The protagonists: Above-mentioned waiter advising one of my dinner companions that the squiggly looking things in his Petite Marmite were NOT artichokes, rather they are crones, having “nothing whatsoever to do with artichokes, Miss.” (That’s me. He gets points for not saying “Madame”.)

Actually, we were both right and both wrong.

Preparing Crones

Preparing Crones

These little tubers are known variously as Chinese artichokes, Japanese artichokes, crones, crosnes, chorogi and knotroot.

Native to Asia, it is said that the First Western cultivation was in Crosne, in northern France, hence the name. A member of the mint family, they still grow wild in north China, and have many relatives in the western hemisphere, what we could call weeds. Some websites will counsel as to how to forage for them; MyMEgusta does not advocate this unless you are really certain of what you’re looking for, as crones and their relatives also have medicinal uses.

Crones in Salad

Crones in Salad

At the Market

At the Market

Crones are comparable to jicama or water chestnuts in flavor and texture. They can sometimes be found fresh in upscale or farmers markets, as well as Asian markets where you’ll also find them salted and/or pickled.

Pickled Crones

Pickled Crones

Treat fresh crones as you would water chestnuts in stir fries, or add them to soup or salad for a nice crunchy accent. They are about 23 calories per ounce, not bad considering that a little will go a long way to make a dish visually and texturally interesting.

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5 thoughts on “Don’t Mess with a Crone when It Comes to Crones

  1. Nancy Rugus on said:

    Very interesting! I never heard of them – nor have I seen them anywhere. Thanks for introducing me to something “new”…

  2. Dawn C. on said:

    What Nancy R. said: I’ve never heard of or seen these before! And I’m happy to learn about them this way.
    BTW, you had me at “crone”….


  3. Anne Tornillo on said:

    I could not agree more about the meal at Bouchard’s… just sumptuous in all ways. The crones were a first for me and added an interesting crunch to the delicious soup!

  4. calicobob on said:

    A pile of them looks like larvae, but they were really good in the soup! As with many strange looking foods, you wonder who first saw it and thought, “ooo, yummy!”

  5. Marsha Palanci on said:

    Hi there, Mary Ellen,

    Ironically, we just saw these at our specialty food store today and Ed was curious what they were. Your blog could not have been better timed.

    Happy New Year to you from Paris where we are winding down our stay.


    Sent from my iPad

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