They are called crosnes (pronounced CRONE), named after the town in France where they were first grown after being imported from China. They are also called Chinese artichokes. Crosnes are tubers that are in season during the winter and have a nutty, artichoke-like flavor, according to the handout the farmer gave us.
These little vegetables are smaller than your pinky finger and have a quirky shape- we weirdly thought of miniature, fat baby thighs. See that hand moving around in the bin? It was scooping up huge handfuls (almost half the crosnes on display) for a guy who sounded like he was taking them back to his restaurant. This was at 8:30 a.m., so you may need to arrive early to get your share.
Have you ever eaten crosnes?
(Images: Elizabeth Passarella)