I love Artichokes, I have eaten them my whole life!  I dip the leaves in mayonnaise, while my husband dips his in melted butter.

Season: Spring-Early Autumn
Cooking Technique: Bake, boil, braise, broil, deep-fry, grill, raw, roast, sauté, steam or stew!

The artichoke gets its name from the Ligurian word cocali, which means pine cone.  The artichoke is also a relative of the Thistle & sunflower families & is believed to originate from the Mediterranean and Canary Islands.

According to Aegean legend, the Artichoke was a lovely young girl who lived on the island of Zinari.  The god, Zeus was visiting his brother Poseidon one day when, as he emerged from the sea, he spied a beautiful young mortal woman.  She did not seem frightened by the presence of a god, and Zeus seized the opportunity to seduce her.  He was so pleased with the girl, who’s name was Cynara, that he decided to make her a goddess, so that she could be nearer to his home on Olympia.  Cynara agreed to the promotion, and Zeus anticipated the trysts to come, whenever his wife Hera was away.  However, Cynara soon missed her mother and grew homesick.  She snuck back to the world of mortals for a brief visit.  After she returned, Zeus discovered this un-goddess-like behavior.  Enraged, he hurled her back to earth and transformed her into the plant we know as the artichoke.

Did you know:
1. Nearly 100% of all artichokes grown commercially in the United States are grown in California.
2.In the 16th century, eating an artichoke was reserved only for men. Women were denied the pleasure because the artichoke was considered an aphrodisiac and was thought to enhance sexual power.
3. Artichokes are one of the oldest foods know to humans.
4. Marilyn Monroe was the first official California Artichoke Queen in 1949.

Artichokes go well with garlic, butter, lemon, Parmesan, thyme, mint, olive oil, sage & onions.

Published by Culinary Chick

My name is Anna Hattauer and I love to cook. I am a personal chef living in Maryland. I grew up in California, joined the United States Army right after high school, got married, raised three children while going to college and working full time. As a young military wife and mother, we didn't have the money to go out to eat on a regular basis and had to make each pay check stretch. I learned how to prepare meals that were delicious, while staying within budget. While working full-time in the corporate world with the usual 2-3 hour I-270 commute, coupled with school & sports events, scouts and taking care of three children, it was tough to find the time or the energy to come home and prepare healthy meals for my family. Being a military family, we have traveled to many places around the world. I love trying new foods, the challenge of cooking new recipes and having friends over for dinner as well as cooking for special events. After cooking for my friends and family for over 25 years, I decided that I wanted to share my love of food and make people happy, so I dropped the corporate chaos and attended a formal culinary school and became a certified personal chef. I am a member of the United States Personal Chef Association and I am licensed, insured and ServSafe certified.

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