Information about Vegetables: Artichokes

About artichokes, information about the vegetable, production, history and varieties in the world.

VEGETABLES

Artichoke

Extensively cultivated in France, Belgium, and the Mediterranean countries, in the U.S. it grows predominantly in California (Castroville is the "artichoke heart of the world") and the South. In 15th-century Italy, the artichoke was thought to be an aphrodisiac, and for this reason it has been referred to as "dear to Venus." Artichokes are eaten steamed, boiled stuffed, and even raw. The heart is the artichoke's most succulent feature, and can be purchased canned. To cook whole artichokes, steam them in boiling water 20 to 30 minutes. They are especially valuable for their production of levulose sugars which can be eaten by persons with diabetes. Buy your artichokes with compact green heads and tightly closed leaves. A fresh artichoke will squeak when rubbed against another one.

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