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.