Artichoke

artichoke

 

Have you ever had an artichoke?  I’m sure you have.  People put them in pizza or you might have had a cheesy artichoke dip at a restaurant or fancy shmancy potluck.  I’ve recently had one, and I would have tried them fresh before, but I never knew how to cook them.  I’ve seen them being prepped on cooking shows all the time, but I feel like I’m going to mess it up.  PaleoJoe cooked this one up for me, and seeing him prepare and cook it in person looked super easy.  I’ll have to give it a go one of these days.  Until then…  here’s a VIDEO for you to watch if you’re interested in prepping and cooking one up yourself.

The artichoke pictured above was boiled and served with a side of our Paleo Friendly Mayonnaise.  Eating the artichoke is messy only because you’re using your hands to pull leaves off, dipping them in the mayo and biting the bottom of them.  Apparently the top portion isn’t all that tasty.  So if you’re eating this for the first time, make sure you have a container of some sort to throw away the inedible bits.  Oh and when you get to the heart of the artichoke there are these tiny hairs that you need to scoop out before you can eat the heart.  I haven’t eaten one but I hear that it’s kinda scratchy and it tickles your throat or something like that.  Long story short:  Scoop out the hairs with a spoon.

artichokefestival

So every year in May there’s a city in California called Castroville where they host an annual artichoke festival.  I hear and see advertisements about it all the time, but I have yet to go.  I figure, I live only about an hour away that I can just attend it next year.  Been saying that for YEARS!!  They have a parade, a classic car show and lots of food!!  I’m actually very excited about the food part because I love food.  Plus, I can get more ideas on how to prepare and cook artichokes, which is great for anyone who reads this blog because then you’ll have ideas as well!  I am going to make sure that I attend the festival this year and get lots of pictures of the event to post here.  ESPECIALLY the food!

Some fun facts about artichokes:

*  California produces 100% of the United States artichoke crop, with Castroville, California calling itself the “Artichoke Center of the World.”
*  In 1947 Marilyn Monroe, then still going by her given name Norma Jean, was crowned Castroville’s first Artichoke Queen.

*  The Greeks and Romans considered them to be an aphrodisiac.

*  The artichoke is technically a flower bud that has not yet bloomed.

Did you know that the artichoke is a type of thistle?  I had no idea.  Eeyore must like them because he loves eating thistles.  Artichokes are low in calories and fat, good source of folic acid, vitamin C and Potassium.  It’s also rich in dietary fiber so if you’re feeling a little…  “backed up”…  eat some artichokes.  Haha!!  For some nutritional facts about artichokes you can go HERE.  That’s all for now.  Happy Tuesday!

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