Globe Artichokes ... the King of Vegetables
Globe Artichokes
R & J Mazza Pty Ltd
In 1948 Marilyn Monroe was crowned as one of Castroville's first Artichoke Queens.
How to Store Artichokes
Globe Artichokes are best eaten stuffed then steamed or baked, but if time does not permit, they are delicious without stuffing and dipped into your favourite vinaigrette.
Although artichoke is the primary flavour of the bitter amaro Italian liqueur Cynar, it is also made from more than a dozen other different herbal plants.  Cynar can be made into many various cocktails, be enjoyed straight or in mixed drinks. It is a very dark brown in colour and its strength is 16.5% alcohol by volume.  As a result of its artichoke component, Cynar is a perfect bitter for an after-dinner digestive.
The globe artichoke can be eaten stuffed, or dipped in vinaigrette dressing to enhance the flavour. They can be steamed, boiled, microwaved or baked. Although most consumers’ favourite part of a globe artichoke is the heart, you will find that the leaves and stems also contain many of the vegetable’s powerful health benefits. The artichoke hearts can be precooked then consumed marinated, battered then fried, made into dips, quiches, salads, barbequed, sautéed, used as pizza toppings or in pasta and risotto dishes. The artichoke stalk is also edible. Peel the thick, stringy membrane, and chop into 6-8cm pieces. Cook the stems in the saucepan along with the globe, cooking in its brine, and serve with the globe. For centuries artichokes have been used medicinally. They have also been made into a herbal tea, which acts as a diuretic, and improves digestion and liver function. There are many brands on the market; some of the best are imported from Vietnam.
How to Eat Globe Artichokes Eating globe artichokes is a hands-on affair, so when eating them, just enjoy them and forget the rules of etiquette! Although there is some effort required in preparing them, the delicate flavours are well worth the effort. The edible part of the globe artichoke is the fleshy section on the inside of the bract. Once cooked, pull off the leaf off the choke and dip into your preferred vinaigrette. Hold the tip between your fingers and drag the leaf between your teeth, scrapping the fleshy part. Throw away the remainder of the bract.  Most of the flesh is in the bottom 1/3 of the leaf on the outer leaves, which increases as you get closer to the heart. The inside leaves are very tender and you can actually eat the whole cluster of leaves. Once you get to the heart, you may find fuzzy or hair like strands on top if the artichoke is too mature. Discard this part and eat the base of the choke, which is the heart.