Artichokes - the healthy Thistle

For those that who do not know this, the not so appealing Artichokes are known as Globe Artichokes. And not to be confused with the Jerusalem Artichokes which are much smaller and bear not much resemblance to the famous Globe Artichokes.

The Globe Artichoke belongs to the Thistle (flower) family. And at first look, the hard green exterior does not help us associate it to a popular Roman dish fit for the royalty. Once most of the thorny exterior is removed painstakingly (though I would not expect it to be very popular with domestic cooks), the much appreciated core can be cooked till tender, simply tossed in olive oil and served as a salad. The hard leaves can also cooked till tender and eaten individually with dipping sauces.

This Wikipedia link will show you what is known as the Jerusalem Artichokes. How does it differ from the Globe Artichokes? First the Jerusalem Artichokes belong to the Sunflower family. Secondly, in the restaurant, Jerusalem Artichokes refer to the root or tuber version of this plant. The skin of the Jerusalem Artichokes are peeled off revealing a smooth white flesh which remind me more of Horseradish. These are then cooked till tender. It makes a great savoury pastry dish!

Wikipedia has also documented how the rest of the mediterranean enjoyed this "flower"(?). The French preferred it deep fried, the Italians can serve it as part of the Four Seasons (Mushrooms, Proscuitto and Olives) Pizza or dressed it up the Espagnol style with Olive Oil.

To accompany this dish, I serve you a piece of health news from the UK researchers. Artichokes have demonstrated its cholesterol-reducing ability in healthy adults. To read more about this research, go to this link.

Enough said about Artichokes, remember to Eat Healthy and Stay Happy!

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