Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The arrival of the Artichokes

It has been a bit of a unholy grail trying to find fresh artichokes. All I could find were these pasty-coloured knots floating in olive oil. I suspect if I presented those at the dinner table, Fred would faint. But then as I emerged from the tube in Kentish Town I was confronted by a mob of globe artichokes glaring at me from a market stall. So far as you can humanise a vegetable, artichokes really do look quite angry. They are prickly-looking creatures who seem a little reluctant to let you enjoy them. I feel a bit uneasy about them. I'm not sure what to do with them. I think its a case of boiling or steaming them for 40 minutes. And then cutting off the stalk and somehow pulling off the prickly leaves and dipping the ends in butter. Artichoke fans speak in hushed tones about the bit in the middle. How I get to that bit is unclear. I think that artichokes should be sold with an instruction manual.
Anyhow I've brought them home and put them pride of place in the kitchen. Fred is interested. He thinks they look like something out of Jurassic Park and has asked if they have meat inside.
Maybe that's what the artichoke junkies get all breathless about.


  1. Hi Charlotte

    Great blog. I presume you cooked the artichokes last night, but if not, tells you step-by-step how to peel 'em. Here's a free food fact, too. Artichokes were a great delicacy in ancient Greece, but Pliny hated them, saying "thus we turn into a corrupt feast the earth's monstrosities, those which even the animals instinctively avoid".
    All the best, Mart.

  2. Artichokes still sitting on their plate grimacing at me. So thank you for this link. I will use it.


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