I know I love artichoke and hot cheese dip, but frankly that was about all I knew about the plant. I now know how beautiful of a vegetable it is. Every Spring at the Desert Botanical Gardens I wait patiently for the artichokes to bloom. This year I was not disappointed …
Are they not spectacular?!
I find them to be the most intriguing plant, and, until today I didn’t know what part you ate in the famous artichoke dip! Well thanks to a little bit of wiki research I guess you eat the part before it blooms. The leaves I imagine. If I am wrong please let me know.
Today, globe artichoke cultivation is concentrated in the countries bordering the Mediterranean basin. The main European producers are Italy, Spain, and France. In the United States, California provides nearly 100% of the U.S. crop, and about 80% of that is grown in Monterey County; there, Castroville proclaims itself to be “The Artichoke Center of the World”, and holds the annual Castroville Artichoke Festival. (From Wiki).
Funny how things come full circle! Almost 30 years ago we lived in Salinas, California. I worked at the Monterey County Office of Education. On my last day of work, before moving back East, my co-workers gave me two CASES of marinated artichoke hearts. At the time I was too young or inexperienced to know that these were from “The Artichoke Center of the World.” Now I think possibly my co-workers were probably hoping I would pass them out as they were all very excited to see the little jars. Well the 24 jars made it back east with us, tucked in the back of our little Toyota pickup truck. Now 30 years later I get so excited when I see those blooms, as you can tell as I try to get a photo of them from every angle.