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Artichoke bush close.jpg (148043 bytes)Artichoke  A leaf and bud vegetable. Flower of the thistle plant, native to Africa. It consists of the unopened flower and usually part of the stem of the plant.  The leaves are thick and green and become soft and edible at the base when cooked.  When all the leaves are pulled away, the choke is revealed.  Below the hairy tuft of is a fleshy pad, the heart, the most prized part of the artichoke.

Select  Compact, plump globes with large, tightly clinging leaves and good green color. Peak season March to May.  During spring, artichokes will be globe-shaped; during the summer and fall, artichokes will be more conical with slightly flared petals. During winter, artichokes may exhibit a white blistered or bronze appearance due to exposure to frost. This cosmetic defect does not affect quality , and in fact, enhances the nutty flavor of the artichoke. Avoid artichokes that appear wilted, moldy, significantly discolored, or woody.

Ordering Specifications, Temperature/humidity recommendation for short-term storage of 7 days or less:
32-36 degrees F,   2 degrees C
90-98% relative humidity

Serve  Hot, as a separate vegetable course or a vegetable with meat, poultry, fish.

Cold, as a salad or appetizer.

Nutrition:   1 medium artichoke (8 oz.) = 25 calories

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