Jerusalem artichoke should be thoroughly scrubbed to remove any sand or soil.
The Jerusalem artichoke is not an artichoke, nor is it from Jerusalem. It's actually is a species of sunflower native to eastern North America. How it got its misleading name is not known although some say it derives from girasole, the Italian word for sunflower. More recently, people have begun calling Jerusalem artichokes sunroot, sunchoke, earth apple or topinambour.
Jerusalem artichokes are cultivated for their tuber, which somewhat resembles ginger root, is native to the Mississippi Valley. Its use originated with Indians inhabiting that area who introduced it to the white settlers.
In Baden-Württemberg, Germany, over 90 percent of the Jerusalem artichoke root is used to produce a spirit called "Topinambur", "Topi" or "Rossler".