Artichoke Powder[ PURCHASE INFO ]
Artichoke Powder: Artichoke Powder is made from ground, dried artichokes. There are several types of artichokes, the most familiar is the round green Globe Artichoke (Cynara scolymus)you'll find in the produce section or canned food aisle. Globe Artichokes are commonly confused with Jerusalem Artichokes which are related to sunflowers and are also known as sunchokes. Jerusalem Artichokes have an edible root or tuber, but are not responsible for the large round green buds you will find on your grocery shelves. The Globe Artichoke is a thistle like plant which originated in Southern Europe on the Mediterranean. The large buds, which will develop into large purple flowers, have an edible fleshy base which is known as the "heart". The hearts must be cooked before eating, and are commonly used in dips, salads, antipasto, and many other dishes.
Although they originated in Southern Europe and the Mediterranean, today there are over 50 varieties grown around the world. Artichokes are grown exclusively in California in the US. The word "artichoke" is from the Old Spanish 'alcarchofa', which came from the original Arabic name for the plant. The word was passed into the Spanish language during the Middle Ages when Muslims ruled large parts of what is now Spain.
Artichokes can be purchased fresh, canned, or dried and ground into a powder for cooking or to be used as a dietary supplement. The powder is rumored to have medicinal properties, beneficial to the liver and gall bladder, may also be helpful in reducing lipids and cholesterol, is an antioxidant, may improve digestion, and may increase fat metabolism.
Fresh artichokes have an excellent shelf life, and are usually steamed but can be boiled, grilled, microwaved, or prepared in a pressure cooker. The peak season for planting is spring with a fall harvest, and each plant can produce up to 30 buds. Only a small portion of the plant is edible.
Where to buy: Artichoke