I love thee steamed or broiled, pickled or stuffed. I love thee to a depth and breadth and height... oh you know the drill.
I love artichokes.
It has recently come to my attention that someone in this little blogosphere does not. Apparently they look gross to him. Yes, he'll eat Take 5's wrapped in bacon, he'll even eat the heinous Chocolate Mix Skittles. He'll eat any Dorito flavor combo known to man, but an artichoke? No. That's where he draws the line.
I find artichokes to be one of the greatest gifts the produce gawds have bestowed upon us. I love that they look inedible. I love that you have to work for the bounty held within. I love the sweetness that follows an otherwise unsweetned bite.
It was found that this induced sweetness is produced by temporarily altering the tongue so that a normally non-sweet substance tastes sweet. Two substances in artichoke were identified as the major sources of the sweetness. They are chlorogenic acid (3-caffeoylquinic acid) and cynarin (1,5-dicaffeoylquinic acid). It is suspected that there are other substances that also possess similar taste-altering properties, but these substances have not yet been identified.
I like my artichokes the best when they are simple... a steamed artichoke and some melted butter and I'm a happy gal. There's no need to gild the lily and yet, what the heck, every once in awhile a little gilding is fun. Dipping those tender leaves into some Bearnaise sauce is truly decadent. Stuffing the heart of the artichoke with other goodies and baking is also not to be missed. But more often than not, I just want them steamed. Sometimes butter is even too much.
I beg this artichoke shunner to give them a try. They're not hard to prepare and they're so good. If you hate them you can lambaste me in the DorD column. Come on... what have you got to lose? Either way you'll have content for a post.