40 Lists of Artichoke Trivia, Anecdotes and Health Benefits
40 Lists of Artichoke Trivia, Anecdotes and Health Benefits
1. The artichoke originated in Sicily.
2. The artichoke belongs to the sunflower family. Some say it belongs to the thistle family (or vice versa).
3. Technically, an artichoke is a flower.
4. Globe artichokes are large, unopened flower bud of a plant belonging to the thistle family. The many leaf-like parts making up the bud called scales. Artichokes are actually a flower bud and if allowed to fully bloom can measure up to seven inches in diameter and become a violet-blue colour.
5. In 77AD, the Roman naturalist Pliny called the choke one of the earth's monstrosities, but many continued to eat them.
6. Artichokes are one of the oldest foods known to man. Zeus said to have turned a scorned lover into an artichoke.
7. In 1947, a young Marilyn Monroe (then Norma Jean) was crowned Castroville's first "Artichoke Queen." California, known as the artichoke capital of the world.
8. Artichokes are said to be aphrodisiacs.
9. Many people eat the insides of these leaves dipped in mayonnaise, butter or oil dressings. Artichoke hearts are the very centre of the flower and are used in many pasta dishes, salads, and casseroles. These hearts can be canned and enjoyed any time of year.
10. In full growth, an artichoke plant can spread nine feet in diameter and stand 5 feet tall, and one plant can produce over 20 artichokes a year.
11. Baby artichokes are simply good artichoke buds that grow lower on primary artichoke stalks.
12. Americans are divided on the artichoke's favourite sidekick. Eastern state residents prefer butter while Western region residents opt for mayonnaise or aioli (garlic mayonnaise).
13. Artichokes are a significant source of vitamin C, folic acid and magnesium. Virtually fat-free, the artichoke weighs in at 25 calories (per medium artichoke) and is low in sodium.
14. About six months are needed to grow a beautiful Artichoke plant that is ready for harvest. Artichoke plants are also hardy and bountiful.
15. Most of the perennial plants are able to produce for five to 10 years and prefer to grow in cool weather. That is why Artichokes thrive in the cool, moist climate of California’s Central Coast and Southern California’s Coachella Valley during the winter.
16. Frost enhances the flavour of the Artichoke resulting in a nutty taste. Once cooked, the peeling disappears resulting in a delicious, green Artichoke. Although the brownish colour may not look beautiful, “Frost Kissed” Artichokes taste delicious and actually have a more intense flavour than green, “Frost Free” Artichokes.
17. Once artichoke established the plant can remain productive for 4 to 7 years.
18. If left to flower, the plant will produce a large purple thistle that can be dried and used in arrangements. If you harvest all the flowering heads, artichokes may send up a second crop of flowers in the fall.
19. Artichoke plants should be divided every 3-5 years. Before replanting, the soil should be prepared again as described above.
20. Artichokes offer Vitamins, Minerals and More from its nature! Artichokes are an under-recognized source of potassium, a mineral that is vital to maintaining normal heart rhythm, fluid balance, muscle and nerve function. One medium Artichoke provides more than 400 milligrammes of potassium, about as much as a small banana. There is strong evidence that a diet rich in potassium is linked to reduced risk of stroke. Potassium also blunts the effects of salt on blood pressure.
21. Artichokes offer magnesium used in building bones, manufacturing proteins, releasing energy from muscle storage, and regulating our body temperature. Many adults — especially women — are not getting enough of this mineral. Artichokes are an excellent source.
22. Artichokes are an excellent source of vitamin C, a water-soluble vitamin that functions as a potent antioxidant. Vitamin C is vital for a healthy immune system. It also is important in forming collagen, a protein that gives structure to our bones, cartilage, muscle and blood vessels. Vitamin C also aids in the absorption of iron.
23. Artichokes offer dietary fibre found only in plant foods. Fibre helps maintain a healthy digestive system, lowers blood cholesterol, reduces the risk of heart disease and may prevent certain types of cancer. Fibre also works to keep blood-sugar levels stable, which is especially important for people with diabetes. It can also help us feel full, aiding in weight control. Artichokes are fibre rich, providing 10.3 grammes in one Artichoke (120 grammes).
24. Artichokes offer Protein. The USDA 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend eating more plant-based protein in place of animal-based protein as a way to help reduce saturated fat and cholesterol intake. With no fat, cholesterol or trans-fat, Artichokes are a nutritious source of protein. One medium Artichoke provides four grammes.
25. Artichokes offer Antioxidants. It contains phytonutrients (“fight-o-nutrients”), or plant compounds that have antioxidant properties and promote human health. Some of the most powerful, polyphenol-type antioxidants are found in Artichokes.
26. Artichokes offer Quercetin. A flavonoid that works as an anti-carcinogen and antioxidant to protect against cancer and heart disease.
27. Artichokes provide Rutin. A flavonoid that promotes vascular health helps prevent cell proliferation associated with cancer and has anti-inflammatory and anti-allergenic properties.
28. Artichokes contain Anthocyanins. Colour pigments in Artichokes that are associated with a lower risk of certain cancers, urinary tract health, memory function and healthy ageing.
29. Artichokes offer Gallic Acid. An antioxidant also found in red wine and black tea. It has shown to inhibit cell proliferation in prostate cancer cells.
30. Artichokes offer Luteolin and Cynarin. Polyphenol antioxidants that may lower cholesterol levels. Artichokes contain cyanidin, which may also help in regeneration of liver tissue.
31. Artichokes offer Caffeic Acid and Chlorogenic Acid. Provide anti-cancer, antimicrobial, anti-LDL (bad cholesterol) and antiviral properties.
32. Artichokes contain Silymarin. This antioxidant may aid the liver in regenerative tissue growth.
33. “Life is like eating artichokes, you have got to go through so much to get so little.” – Thomas Aloysius Dorgan
34. “His memoir is a splendid artichoke of anecdotes, in which not merely the heart and leaves but the thistles as well are edible.” – John Leonard
35. “Remind me to tell you about the time I looked into the heart of an artichoke.” – Bette Davis in All About Eve
36. “His memoir is a splendid artichoke of anecdotes, in which not merely the heart and leaves but the thistles as well are edible.” – John Leonard
37. “These things are just plain annoying. After all the trouble you go to, you get about as much actual “food” out of eating an artichoke as you would from licking 30 or 40 postage stamps. Have the shrimp cocktail instead.” – Miss Piggy
38. “I have a heart like an artichoke – a leaf for everyone.” – from the 1947 film Nightmare Alley
39. “At least you’ll never be a vegetable – even artichokes have hearts.” – Amélie Poulain in the movie Amélie
40. “A woman is like an artichoke, you must work hard to get to her heart.” – Inspector Jacques Clouseau in The Pink Panther (2006)