Come and celebrate the 57th Annual Artichoke Festival, which will be held on June 4th and 5th, 2016 at the Monterey County Fairgrounds. Artichokes was known to have been used as early as 500 BC as an expensive specialty and from Sicily, have found their way to Naples and Florence. By the time 18th century rolled around, the artichoke has been adopted by France as a culinary privilege that only members of the aristocracy can afford. During that time, artichokes were also believed to have aphrodisiac qualities – no woman was ever allowed to eat artichokes except probably for Catherine de Medici, the wife of King Henry II, who was said to have eaten artichokes openly in large quantities.
The United States – California to be precise – has been introduced to artichokes during the 19th century by the Spanish; the French bringing the new plant to Louisiana. Since artichokes are now cultivated worldwide, it has become an affordable vegetable. It has also lost its esoteric reputation and men and women alike are now permitted to eat this vegetable. Artichoke is actually a flower of a plant called Cynara and is mostly consumed in the winter. 99.99% of all commercially grown artichokes are grown in California and no other commodity can claim such exclusivity to the state. Visit their website, artichokefestival.orgThe California Artichoke Advisory Board (CAAB) was organized in 1960 under the California State Marketing Order Act administered by the California State Department of Food and Agriculture, after growers voted to assess themselves to pay for formation and continuing operational costs including state oversight.
To remove the thorns, which may interfere with eating, around a quarter of each scale should be cut off.
Presence of cynarin and sesquiterpene-lactones in artichokes helps lower cholesterol level.
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