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Artichokes

SCIENTIFIC NAME

Cynara cardunculus var. scolymus

CLASSIFICATION

Vegetable

SEASON

March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October

About

People often say that the first person to eat an artichoke must have been very hungry indeed!

The globe artichoke is actually a variety of thistle which has been cultivated as a food by the ancient Greeks, Romans and Muslim Spain during the Medieval period. Due to their thistle heritage, artichokes take some preparation before they can be eaten, but their rich nutty flavour is worth the effort!

Once prepared and cooked, fresh artichokes have a rich, nutty flavour. They are available from March to October Australia wide, with the local WA season running from June to October.

Once prepared and cooked, fresh artichokes have a rich, nutty flavour. They are available from March to October Australia wide, with the local WA season running from June to October.

You will need both a knife and kitchen scissors for this little beasty! Slice the top 2-3cm from the top of the artichoke with the knife and discard. Then use your scissors to snip off the thorn at the tip of each leaf. Remove the base leaves around the artichoke, and then it is ready for steaming or boiling as desired. After boiling or steaming, you will still need to remove the little ball of immature leaves on the inside of the artichoke which may still have thorns on them. It’s a really good idea to follow a recipe the first time you cook with artichokes.

GLOBE ARTICHOKES
Nutrient Value per 100 g
Proximates
Energy, including dietary fibre 145 kJ
Moisture 85.2 g
Protein 2.8 g
Nitrogen 0.45 g
Fat 0.2 g
Ash 1 g
Dietary fibre 8.1 g
Fructose 0.3 g
Glucose 0.4 g
Sucrose 0.2 g
Total sugars 0.9 g
Starch 0.4 g
Available carbohydrate, without sugar alcohols 1.3 g
Available carbohydrate, with sugar alcohols 1.3 g
Organic Acids
Malic acid 0.2 g
Citric acid 0.1 g
Minerals
Calcium (Ca) 30 mg
Iron (Fe) 0.5 mg
Magnesium (Mg) 18 mg
Potassium (K) 360 mg
Sodium (Na) 6 mg
Zinc (Zn) 0.6 mg
Vitamins
Thiamin (B1) 0.06 mg
Riboflavin (B2) 0.08 mg
Niacin (B3) 0.8 mg
Niacin Equivalents 1.07 mg
Alpha carotene 20 ug
Beta carotene 40 ug
Cryptoxanthin 80 ug
Beta carotene equivalents 90 ug
Retinol equivalents 15 ug
Vitamin C 16 mg

Source: NUTTAB 2010(Food Standards Australia New Zealand) Wills, R.B.H., Lim, J.S.K. and Greenfield, H. (1986) Composition of Australian foods. 32. Leafy, stem and other vegetables. Food Technology in Australia 38:416-417,421.