Nature has provided us with some odd looking fruits and vegetables. And the white tuber called crosne is no exception.

While we've seen fruit covered in protective husks (like the gooseberry) and we've enjoyed vegetables that are stark pale from lack of sun (like white asparagus), never before had we come across produce like crosne that quite literally made us gasp.

Crosne, a root vegetable commonly seen in China or Japan, has the misfortune of looking just like live, squirming larvae. It tastes like a mixture of salsify and artichokes, and can be cooked just as you would Jerusalem artichokes -- roasted or sauteed with seasoning. You could also use it as a topping in salads or a garnish. In China, crosne are often pickled and in Japan they are traditionally dyed red and served as part of celebrating the New Year.

And while most people love artichokes and Jerusalem artichokes, their likeness to wormlike critters immediately makes us lose our appetite. One thing's for sure, these tubers would make a fine addition to a Halloween-inspired dinner. Would you eat crosne? Take the poll and leave a comment below.

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Know your fall produce with this guide.

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  • Butternut Squash

    This bell-shaped squash has a similar color, flavor and texture to pumpkin. It can be used interchangeably in recipes that call for pumpkin, including desserts like pie. Butternut squash has the best flavor when roasted. <strong>What to look for:</strong> Smooth skin free of blemishes and gouges. <strong>How to store it:</strong> Butternut squash and other fall/winter squash varieties can last for months in the pantry. <strong><strong>Recipes: <a href="" target="_hplink">Roasted Butternut Squash Soup</a> <a href="" target="_hplink">Butternut Squash Flan</a> <a href="" target="_hplink">Roasted Butternut Squash with Cracklings</a></strong>

  • Kale

    This ruffly green, a part of the cabbage family, is perfect sauteed for a side dish or cooked into soups or stews. Young and tender leaves are great in salads and slaws. <strong>What to look for:</strong> Dark green leaves with no holes, yellowing or blemishes. <strong>How to store it:</strong> If not using kale immediately, store it in the refrigerator in a plastic bag for no more than a few days. <strong>Recipes: <a href="" target="_hplink">Squash and Kale Toasts</a> <a href="" target="_hplink">Southern Kale</a> <a href="" target="_hplink">Kale and Potato Hash</a></strong>

  • Brussels Sprouts

    These mini cabbages don't deserve to be hated. Try sprouts roasted or grilled for a side dish. These cooking methods give them a sweet caramelized flavor. You can always toss leftover sprouts with pasta to create a quick meal. <strong>What to look for:</strong> Tightly wrapped leaves with no yellowing. Search for sprouts sold on the stem, which are usually the freshest. <strong>How to store it:</strong> Sprouts on their stems will last longer than sprouts sold cut off. Keep them in the refrigerator for no more than a few days. <strong>Recipes: <a href="" target="_hplink">Brussels Sprouts and Pancetta</a> <a href="" target="_hplink">Penne Rigate with Brussels Sprouts and Gorgonzola</a> <a href="" target="_hplink">Grilled Brussels Sprouts Salad with Goat Cheese</a></strong>

  • Swiss Chard

    These broad leafy greens are related to beets. You can find them with stems in a rainbow of colors. Chard is very nutritious and is great sauteed for side dishes or cooked in soups and stews. <strong>What to look for:</strong> Crisp leaves and stalks free of blemishes and holes. <strong>How to store it:</strong> If not using chard immediately, store it in the refrigerator in a plastic bag for no more than a few days. <strong>Recipes: <a href="" target="_hplink">Braised Swiss Chard</a> <a href="" target="_hplink">Chicken Sausage and Swiss Chard Pie</a> <a href="" target="_hplink">Quick White Bean Stew with Swiss Chard and Tomatoes</a></strong>

  • Celery Root

    Also known as celeriac, celery root is related to celery with a similar flavor. Grown for its white root, celery root is great cooked and pureed into soup or roasted for a side dish. Sliced or grated extremely thin, celery root can also be enjoyed raw. <strong>What to look for:</strong> Roots that are firm and about medium in size (large roots tend to be too fibrous). If the stems and leaves are attached and look green and crisp, then it's a plus for freshness. <strong>How to store it:</strong> Keep in the refrigerator in a plastic bag for no more than 2 weeks. Any stems or greens should be used within a few days. <strong>Recipes: <a href="" target="_hplink">Creamy Celery Root Soup</a> <a href="" target="_hplink">Roasted Beets and Celery Root with Goat Butter</a> <a href="" target="_hplink">Celery-and-Celery-Root Salad</a></strong>

  • Wild Mushrooms

    Wild mushrooms are widely available in fall more than any other season. Look for chanterelle, oyster and porcini. Mushrooms are delicious prepared in many ways and in many dishes. <strong>What to look for:</strong> Dry, never slimy, mushrooms free of bruises or blemishes. Whole mushrooms are preferable to sliced. <strong>How to store it:</strong> Store in a paper bag, never plastic, in the refrigerator for up to a week. <strong>Recipes: <a href="" target="_hplink">Wild Mushrooms with Frisee</a> <a href="" target="_hplink">Tagliatelle with Wild Mushrooms, Garlic and Thyme</a> <a href="" target="_hplink">Creamy Porcini-Barley Soup</a></strong>

  • Cauliflower

    Related to cabbages and broccoli, cauliflower typically has pristine white florets, but it also can be found in orange, green and purple -- all naturally occurring colors. Cauliflower is great steamed, sauteed, cooked in soups and stews, roasted, and eaten raw. <strong>What to Look for:</strong> Uniformly colored heads with few blemishes. The leaves around the base of the head should be fresh and green, not yellow or wilted. <strong>How to store it:</strong> Keep cauliflower wrapped in plastic in the refrigerator for no more than a week. Do not wash until ready to use. <strong>Recipes: <a href="" target="_hplink">Madras Cauliflower</a> <a href="" target="_hplink">Cauliflower Soup</a> <a href="" target="_hplink">Penne with Cauliflower</a></strong>

  • Acorn Squash

    Also very similar in flavor to pumpkin, acorn squash is recognizable by its green and orange skin and round acorn shape. Once cut open, the squash halves form the perfect bowls for stuffing and roasting. Squash slices can also be grilled or roasted. <strong>What to look for:</strong> Smooth, blemish-free skin. <strong>How to store it:</strong> All squashes that are fall/winter varieties can last in the pantry for a couple of months. <strong>Recipes: <a href="" target="_hplink">Grilled Acorn Squash with Cilantro Mojo</a> <a href="" target="_hplink">Spicy Red Currant Glazed Acorn Squash</a> <a href="" target="_hplink">Stuffed Maple Acorn Squash with Sausage and Shiitakes</a></strong>

  • Parsnip

    The parsnip is a white root vegetables resembling a carrot. Its aromatic quality makes it great in soups and stews. Parsnip can also be boiled and mashed or roasted. <strong>What to look for:</strong> Firm parsnips free of blemishes. <strong>How to store it:</strong> Store in the vegetable drawer for up to 3 weeks. <strong>Recipes: <a href="" target="_hplink">Celery Root and Parsnip Puree</a> <a href="" target="_hplink">Parsnip Bacon</a> <a href="" target="_hplink">Potato-Parsnip Mash</a></strong>

  • Cabbage is so versatile. You have the option of choosing red, green or savoy. Think slaws, braises and sautes -- cabbage makes a great side with such preparations. Cabbage can easily turn into a main dish when the leaves are used to wrap a meat filling, like in the dish stuffed cabbage. You can also add cabbage to soups or stews. <strong>What to look for:</strong> Tightly wrapped leaves with no yellowing or wilting. <strong>How to store it:</strong> Wrap in plastic and keep in the refrigerator's vegetable drawer for no more than a week. Do not wash until ready to use. <strong>Recipes: <a href="" target="_hplink">Braised Red Cabbage with Bacon</a> <a href="" target="_hplink">Baked Stuffed Cabbage Rolls</a> <a href="" target="_hplink">Country Potato-and-Cabbage Soup</a></strong>

  • Pumpkin

    Fall wouldn't be complete without this gourd-like squash. Pumpkins come in all sizes, from small eating varieties to monstrous ones grown for prize competitions. Pumpkin is delicious steamed, roasted or grilled. It can also be grated and baked into breads. And of course don't forget pumpkin pie. <strong>What to look for:</strong> Smooth, blemish-free skin. Sugar pumpkin, Cinderella, Blue Hokkaido and Red Kuri are the best varieties for eating. Jack-o-Lanterns are fine too. <strong>How to store it:</strong> Pumpkins can last for a few months in the pantry. <strong>Recipes: <a href="" target="_hplink">Pumpkin Mousse Tart</a> <a href="" target="_hplink">Cheesy Pumpkin Biscuits</a> <a href="" target="_hplink">Pumpkin-Grape Relish</a></strong>

  • This yellow oval squash has a surprise inside. After roasting, the inside of a spaghetti squash can be scraped with a fork to create long spaghetti-like strands. Toss the squash with a number of different ingredients and enjoy as a main meal or side dish. <strong>What to look for:</strong> Smooth, blemish-free skin. <strong>How to store it:</strong> All squashes that are fall/winter varieties can last in the pantry for a couple of months. <strong>Recipes: <a href="" target="_hplink">Spaghetti Squash with Zucchini, Mushrooms and Onion</a> <a href="" target="_hplink">Curried Spaghetti Squash and Chickpea Toasts</a> <a href="" target="_hplink">Spaghetti Squash Salad with Pine Nuts and Tarragon</a></strong>

  • Sweet Potatoes

    Tan-colored on the outside and ranging in color from yellow to orange on the inside, sweet potatoes are sometimes erroneously called yams. The naturally sweet flavor of sweet potatoes makes them enjoyable in both sweet and savory recipes. Try sweet potatoes boiled and mashed, roasted or even fried. <strong>What to look for:</strong> Uniformly colored sweet potatoes that are firm. Avoid ones that are soft and have holes, cuts or bruises. <strong>How to store it:</strong> Keep in the pantry. At room temperature they will last a week; at cool temperature, for about a month. Do not refrigerate. <strong>Recipes: <a href="" target="_hplink">Sweet Potato Gratin</a> <a href="" target="_hplink">Crispy Sweet Potato Ribbons</a> <a href="" target="_hplink">Sweet Potato Meringue Pie</a></strong>

  • Turnip and Rutabaga

    Closely related turnips and rutabagas are both a part of the cabbage family. The white-fleshed roots can be prepared in many ways, from boiling to roasting. Turnip greens can be sauteed. Interestingly, the custom of carving jack-o-lanterns began in Ireland with turnips and rutabagas, not pumpkins. <strong>What to look for:</strong> Firm roots that are relatively free of blemishes. Turnips sold with their leafy tops should have green, unwilted leaves. <strong>How to store it:</strong> Refrigerate in a plastic bag for up to 2 weeks. Turnip tops should be used within a few days. <strong>Recipes: <a href="" target="_hplink">Turnip Kimchi</a> <a href="" target="_hplink">Roasted Baby Turnips with Parsley Mustard Vinaigrette</a> <a href="" target="_hplink">Mashed Carrots and Rutabaga</a></strong>

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