Artichokes, a plant of Mediterranean origins, offer many culinary possibilities and have a fascinating story to tell. From its origins to its remarkable nutritional value, here are four interesting facts you probably didn’t know about artichockes.
Artichokes Are Flower Buds
Artichokes are the immature flower buds of a thistle. If they are left to mature they can grow up to 5 feet. The smaller heads are usually the most tender and are usually served cooked with some kind of sauce or cold, as part of salads and appetizers.
A Word That Tells a Story
As is often the case with food, you can reconstruct at least a part of the history of the artichoke by paying attention to its name in different languages. The word “artichoke” comes from Spanish “alcachofa”, which in turn is a derivate of the Spanish Arabic word al-ḵaršūfa .
First recorded in Italy around 1400, it was in this country and in Spain where the cultivation technique of artichokes was improved before this plant became widely consumed in other countries, like France and England, that adapted variations of the Spanish word (“artichaut” in French and artichoke in English).
Artichokes Are a Roman Delicacy
Artichokes are consumed in America and Europe, but they are a staple of Roman cuisine. Carciofi romaneschi (Roman boiled artichokes) and fried Roman-Jewish artichokes are iconic dishes and two of the most requested entries in the menu of Roman osterie (traditional restaurants).
They Pack a Lot of Nutrients
Artichokes are a great source of essential nutrients. A boiled artichoke of medium size (120 grams after cooking) contains the following:
|Vitamin C||15% of the RDI|
|Vitamin K||22% of the RDI|
|Thiamine||5% of the RDI|
|Riboflavin||6% of the RDI|
|Niacin||7% of the RDI|
|Vitamin B6||5% of the RDI|
|Folate||27% of the RDI|
|Iron||4% of the RDI|
|Magnesium||13% of the RDI|
|Phosphorus||9% of the RDI|
|Potassium||10% of the RDI|
Learn More Interesting Food Facts
At Chef Gourmet we know good food, and we love to share that knowledge with you. These are some previous posts where you can find more interesting facts about food:
- What is Purple Rice?
- Basmati, The Prince of Rice
- How Tomatoes Conquered the World
- Soba Noodles: Everything You Need to Know
- Marinara: the Story Behind the Legendary Italian Sauce
- Quinoa, the Rice of the Incas (and Astronauts)
Try Our Spinach-Artichoke Chicken!
At Chef Gourmet, we love artichokes so much that have included spinach-artichoke chicken in our Gourmet prepared meals. Order online or call today (1-888-536-5269)!
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