This vegetable is commonly known as the Chinese Artichoke, and from the
peculiar form it is also called Spirals. A wide difference of opinion
exists as to its value, but in its favour the fact may be stated that
tubers are often exhibited
in the finest collections of vegetables
staged for competition.
The time for planting is early spring, in rows eighteen inches apart,
allowing a distance of nine inches in the rows. The proper depth is four
inches. The roots are quite hardy and the crop gives no trouble. After
planting it is only necessary to keep the plot free from weeds.
The tubers do not mature until late in autumn, and as far as possible it
is advisable to lift them when they are wanted. Should it be necessary
for any reason to clear the ground, the Stachys must be covered with
soil. When exposed to light and air they soon become discoloured and are
then unfit for cooking. It is usual to boil them in the same manner as
Potatoes, but the finish must be by steam alone. An agreeable variation
consists in frying the boiled roots with butter until slightly brown,
when the dish is considered by many connoisseurs to be very delicious
and suitable for serving with poultry or joint.
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