Based on its significantly odd appearance, one may find artichoke interesting. What does artichoke taste like, how to prepare this vegetable, is it easy to grow are just a few questions usually asked around.
Artichoke, with a scientific name cynara cardunculus var. scolymus, is a perennial plant that produces an oddly shaped purple-blue flower, in which the bottom part is edible. The vegetable must be harvested before the flowering stage.
Artichoke is fascinating compared to other vegetables. It has six parts, which are the inner and outer petals, the center choke, the center, the stem and the thorns. The parts that should be consumed are the base of the petals, the heart and the center of the stem.
This food consists of beneficial properties, including antioxidants, fiber, folic acid or folate and compounds good for the blood pressure, cholesterol, brain and liver.
Before we get into what does artichoke taste like, you should know that there are two types of this. There is the variety called “globe” that is almost round in shape and “violetta” that is long and tapered.
When and How to Pick Artichokes
From July to August, artichokes are ready to harvest. It can also extend before winter frost. To make sure, the flower buds must have been full in size but the bracts haven’t spread opened yet. Do not pick them if you do not see any of the indications.
When harvesting, cut the bud with about 3-inch stem. You can use it for a lot of recipes that you can serve for family meals and occasional dinners.
How to Prepare an Artichoke
If you check cookbooks, there are hundreds or even thousands of artichoke recipes you can learn. It fairly suggests that there are many ways you can prepare this vegetable. If you’re very keen to know what does artichoke taste like, the fact that there are many recipes should give you an idea.
Artichokes can be prepared to make a soup, salad dish, pasta sauce or dip that may include mayonnaise, cream and cheese. They can also be made as pickles stored in cans or jars.
Regardless of the cooking method, it’s important that you know how to properly prepare this vegetable to ensure good flavor. Here are suggestions that you may follow.
1. Remove thorns.
After picking, the thorns, located on the tips of the petals, of artichokes should be cut off using an ordinary kitchen knife or scissors.
They can be spiky causing a shallow injury in skin so better be careful when carrying this vegetable. This part is also not edible. Hence, get rid of the thorns as quickly as possible.
2. Slice off the top, petals and stem.
You also remove the top part of this vegetable using a serrated knife. Cut off 3/4 inch to 1 inch. After that, remove the small petals on the base by simply pulling off the base and stem. Another part to cut is the excess portion of the stem that is normally bitter in taste.
3. Wash off.
Once all the unnecessary parts are removed, rinse the artichokes in cold water. Open the petals while cleaning.
4. Simmer and cook.
Place the large pot of water mixed with bay leaf, garlic and lemon juice on the stove. Add a steaming basket in the pot and place each artichoke here.
Cover and bring to boil. Continue to simmer and let them cook for about 25 to 45 minutes. After that, you may be able to chop and add to any dish you want to serve in your dining table.
What Does Artichoke Taste Like
To be honest, it’s quite not easy as you think to describe the taste of this vegetable. A general term would be mild flavor similar to asparagus or celery with a little trace of lemony taste.
When it comes to texture, the heart is compared to an eggplant, which means it’s soft, tender, juicy but sweeter. Lastly, the good part is that there’s no bitterness. No matter what does artichoke taste like, it’s probably something you wouldn’t ignore.