What is an Artichoke?
An artichoke is a type of vegetable that belongs to the family of flowering plants known as ‘Cynara scolymus’. It is a large, rounded, green vegetable with a spiky exterior. Inside, the artichoke has many layers of different types of edible leaves. The fleshy center of the artichoke is known as its ‘heart’ and is often the most sought-after part of the vegetable.
Where is Artichoke Generally Used?
Artichokes are commonly eaten all around the world and can be prepared in a variety of ways. They can be boiled, steamed, microwaved or cooked on a stove top. Artichokes are also popularly eaten raw as part of salads. Artichoke heart are also a popular ingredient in pasta dishes, soups and other recipes.
Where is Artichoke Found?
Artichokes are primarily grown in warm climates such as the Mediterranean, California and parts of Europe. In the United States, California produces the majority of the artichokes available on the market.
What are the Health Benefits of Artichoke?
Artichoke has many health benefits and is a great source of various vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber. It is high in antioxidants, which can help reduce the risk of certain diseases and disorders. Artichoke has also been linked to a reduced risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and heart disease. Furthermore, artichoke can aid in digestion and aid kidney health.
Interesting Facts About Artichoke
1. The artichoke is the only species of the Cynara genus and is believed to have originated in North Africa.
2. The most common type of artichoke available is the globe artichoke, which was first cultivated by the Ancient Greeks.
3. Artichoke is one of the oldest vegetables known to man and has been eaten for centuries.
4. Artichoke is a rich source of magnesium, which is an important mineral for heart health.
5. An artichoke is actually an edible flower bud.
List of other similar ingredients
Other similar ingredients to artichoke are cardoon, salsify, and Chinese artichoke.
6. Cardoon is a relative of the artichoke that is native to the Mediterranean region and is used as a vegetable in some parts of the world.
7. Salsify is a root vegetable native to Europe and North Africa that is related to the daisy family and is also known as “the oyster plant” due to its strong, oyster-like flavor.
8. Chinese artichoke, also known as crosne, is a root vegetable native to China. It is related to the Jerusalem artichoke, but is slightly sweeter and has a crunchy texture.