Monday, February 15, 2010

Artichoke Anatomy

In addition to its popularity as a healthy vegetable, the artichoke is quite interesting visually. Here we have a cross section of an artichoke to observe its multiple layers.
You may be interested to know that the Artichoke is actually the bud of a plant from the thistle family and at full maturity, the plant grows to a width of about six feet and a height of three to four. If not harvested from the plant, the bud will eventually blossom into a beautiful, blue-violet flower, which is not edible.The bud contains the Heart, the delightful, meaty core of the Artichoke, and is topped by a fuzzy center, or choke, which is surrounded by rows of petals, which protect the Artichoke Heart. With their tiny thorns, the Artichoke’s petals reveal their thistle heritage. The thorns aren’t a problem if handled carefully and they soften in cooking. Beware of Artichokes promoted as thornless. They have smaller Hearts, less meat and their flavor is not as robust. (source

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