Under the Tuscan Sun: Artichokes
Spring has finally sprung here in Italy and with the warm weather there is an abundance of newness everywhere. Jogging through the park I can see the all the pretty flower poking through the dirty. On the streets the tourist are pouring out of every building. However it’s the farmers market that gets my attention.
Every stall showcases the wonderful bounty of the spring season. One of my favorite discoveries is artichokes or ‘carciofo’ in Italian. Here in Italy, artichoke hearts in oil are the usual vegetable for pizza. In fact, deep-fried artichokes can be found on almost every menu. Stuffed artichoke recipes are abundant here. And, artichokes are commonly used in a mixture of bread crumbs, garlic, oregano, parsley, grated cheese, and prosciutto or sausage as a stuffing.
The mighty artichoke has a long recorded history of use as a food among the ancient Greeks and Romans. Even today, in North Africa, artichokes can still be found in their wild state. Looking beyond Italy artichokes can be found as the star of many recipes throughout the world.