Sunday, August 21, 2011

Artichokes: How to Eat Them

Once your artichoke is steamed for boiled, remove from the pot and serve in a large bowl.  Each person can pull the leaves from the artichoke to serve themselves.  However, for those who have never eaten an artichoke, this can be intimidating.  So, here is how to eat your artichoke.

Artichokes: How to Eat Them

Gently pull the outer leaves from the artichoke.  Place the end of a leaf in your mouth and gently bite down.  Pull the leaf through your teeth scraping off the soft outer layers.

The leaves farthest from the artichoke "heart" will be the toughest.  These leaves won't have as much edible flesh.  However, the leaves will soften as you eat toward the center of the artichoke.  Be careful, though; the leaves closest to the center will be sharp and often inedible.

Once you have reached the sharp center leaves, remove those to reveal the artichokes "beard".
Using a spoon, gently scrape away the "beard" from its tender "heart".  Discard the beard.

Cut the heart from the stem.  This is the most prized part of the artichoke.  To prevent a fights over who gets to eat the heart, I often save this part to cook on pizza or toss with pasta.

The stem is mostly inedible.  However, it also has a small heart, and, depending on the size of the stem, is often worth removing.  To eat the stem, remove the fibrous outer layer to reveal the delicate center.

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