Artichokes

The local specialty produce store has the largest artichokes I have every seen. I had no idea they got this big. The size of giant grapefruit at least. I wish I had weighed one but easily 3 time the size of what I normally think of as a full size artichoke. It would take a cauldron to boil/steam more than one at a time. Are they good, tough, require special treatment,useful for special recipes? Just curious.

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HalfPint
HalfPint August 11, 2015

No special treatment other than the longer cooking time. And they should not be tough, at least the part that you can eat (i.e. the heart). There is some that I do that was instructed by "The Artichoke Queen", an adorable little woman who was the spokeswoman for the Artichoke Council. Artichokes are basically flowers, so as with any flowers, immerse them in water for a few hours to hydrate them and make them taste better. I've been doing this since learning about it and it does perk up the artichoke and make it taste better.

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HalfPint
HalfPint August 11, 2015

Since you are curious as to these colossal sized artichokes, here is a factoid that I learned, also from the Artichoke Queen:

The larger artichokes are often located on the top of the plant. Those "baby" artichokes come from closer to the bottom. The baby label does not indicate age. The artichokes are all (large & small) harvested at the same time.

Nancy
Nancy August 13, 2015

That soaking to rehydrate instruction is new to me - how nice to learn something new about a vegetable (flower) I've been cooking for years, and I'm doing it with a current batch.

caninechef
caninechef August 11, 2015

Thanks for the information. I will try the soaking technique. I do know that baby artichokes are really just the little ones. But as I said, I would consider a "normal" artichoke to be maybe 3-4 inches in diameter. These things were the size of a dessert plate. Of course in NY I am probably woefully ignorant on all the glorious details of artichokes. If I had an asparagus bed and an artichoke plant I could be a vegetarian.

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Jan Weber
Jan Weber August 12, 2015

Just be warned - there might be a lot of fluffy choke inside that has to be removed. I have found this to be a case with the larger globe artichokes.

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