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Artichokes
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Artichoke Fruit Facts Page Information
Availability by variety
Artichokes Artichokes, Historians believe the Artichoke originated in the Mediterranean countries, possible Sicily or Tunisia. From the 16th century to the end of the 20th century, the Artichoke was made a gourmet item in Paris, France. The ] Artichoke was thought to have been an aphrodisiac during the 16th century. In fact, consumption of this rare vegetable was reserved only for men for it was thought to enhance sexual power.

The word Artichoke comes from the Arabic word al-qarshuf. The name passed into Spanish during the Middle Ages. The Old Spanish word alcarchofa was variously modified as it passed through Italian. The name articiocco was then modified in English, once introduced to the English.

The Artichoke was introduced to California by the Spanish during the nineteenth century. During this time, many Italian immigrants settled in the coastal city of Half Moon Bay. In the 1950's, Artichokes earned fame in the state of California, thus giving the status of the official vegetable for Monterrey County. Today, California provides nearly 100 percent of the Artichokes of the United States Crops.

Consumption:
Pull each leaf off the choke and hold the pointed end between your fingers and drag the leaf between your teeth. Most of the edible portion is on inside bottom 1/3 of the choke leaf. Once you've eaten all the leaves you'll see the heart or flower of the choke. Once you see a bed of fuzzy or hair like strands you've hit the heart. Scoop out the fuzz with a spoon and discard. The rest of the base of the choke is edible, referred to as the heart.

Nutrition Facts:
· 1 - 10 ounce, medium artichoke, steamed or boiled
· 60 calories
· 4.2 grams protein
· .2 grams (less than 1 gm) fat
· 13.4 grams carbohydrate
· 114 grams sodium
· 6.5d grams fiber

Detailed nutritional information can be found by searching the USDA Nutritional Database . Enter "Artichoke" (no quotes) as the keyword and select the link and report of interest.

How to Store:
Fresh artichokes should be put in a plastic bag, unwashed, and refrigerated. It is best to use them within 4 days of purchase. If you grow your own then cut them right before you cook them

Scientific classification:
The artichoke belongs to the family Asteraceae (formerly Compositae). It is classified as Cynara scolymus.
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