Artichokes are surging in popularity worldwide for their unique flavor and nutrient content.
Known for lowering cholesterol, blood pressure and supporting liver health, you have a myriad of reasons to eat this fiber-loaded vegetable.
Agreed, artichokes may not look the most appealing to the eye.
But once you taste this veggie, you’ll never know when it becomes a staple in your household.
So, for those who are yet to try artichokes and are wondering what do artichokes taste like, take a moment to read through this post.
Though artichokes have a distinctive taste, they might remind you of some similar vegetables.
What are Artichokes?
Native to the Mediterranean region, artichokes are vegetables that belong to the thistle species.
Simply put, the flowering part of this veggie is marked by leaves with sharp prickles.
The artichoke refers to the immature flower bud on a thistle plant.
This means you’re supposed to consume the bud before it blossoms into a flower.
The most popular kind of artichoke is known as the Green Globe artichoke.
Artichokes are also known by other names such as Green artichoke or French artichoke, depending on where they are grown.
If you’re familiar with the name but have never seen an artichoke, just imagine a brussel sprout with sharp-edged leaves (called “bracts”).
They are vibrant green in color and also look similar to a pine cone.
Did you know? This vegetable is believed to be one of the world’s oldest foods.
It even has an interesting story tied to the Greek god Zeus.
According to Greek myth, Zeus himself created the vegetable by sending his lover to earth in the form of an artichoke.
What Do Artichokes Taste Like?
First and foremost, are artichokes tasty? Yes, they are.
But as with any other food, not everyone is a fan.
Though known to have a unique flavor, the taste of artichokes might remind you of asparagus and celery.
When it comes to cooked artichokes, their flavor resembles that of boiled potatoes.
Some people also claim that artichokes taste somewhat similar to brussel sprouts and turnips.
Why the variation in opinion, you may ask? That’s because there are different kinds of artichokes, namely the Violetta, petite mercury, and oblong Siena, among others.
For instance, while the baby Anzio varieties have a sweet and nutty taste, the green globe artichokes taste more nutty, grassy, and slightly tangy.
When eaten raw, artichokes tend to have a bitter taste.
To enjoy the best flavor of artichokes, we suggest you eat them while they’re still fresh.
That’s because, with time, this vegetable changes its flavor and texture.
On the whole, artichokes tend to have an earthy flavor with subtle herbal notes.
While its exterior has a crunchy texture, the heart of the veggie is much softer and packed with flavors.
This is why you’ll often find the heart sold separately.
On another note, the flavor of cooked artichokes will ultimately depend on how you prepare them and what additional ingredients you use.
How to Cook Artichokes?
Artichokes are not the easiest vegetables to prepare, especially for novice cooks.
In fact, if it’s your first time, this vegetable might even seem a little intimidating.
But with a little nudge in the right direction, anyone can whip up a delicious artichoke dish.
Due to their mild taste, artichokes can be paired well with several other dishes.
This includes salads, dips, meat-based dishes, etc.
Also, you can cook artichokes any way you like – grill, boil, bake, fry, or braise.
However, the easiest way to cook artichokes is to steam them.
First, cut off the steam, tips of the leaves, and crown of the veggie.
Remove the tough shell, keeping the innermost leaves as they’re usually tender enough for consumption.
Then rinse the whole artichoke and steam it with your favorite seasonings and aromatics.
Garlic, lemon, and bay leaves are good options for added flavor.
Some of the best ways to eat an artichoke are as follows:
- Use them as a pizza topping.
- Add them to your casseroles and stews.
- Enjoy steamed artichokes with melted butter.
- Mix them into your pesto sauce.
- Make a creamy spinach-artichoke dip.
Though popularly used in Mediterranean cuisines, artichokes are becoming popular all around the world.
If you haven’t tried it yet, perhaps it’s time to give this unusual-looking vegetable a chance.
Besides its unique taste, artichokes make a healthy part of any diet.
Thanks to their low-calorie content and diuretic effect, they’re also an ideal option for people wanting to lose weight easily.
Artichokes are also incredibly versatile, making them a go-to ingredient for several recipes.
Hence, they surely deserve some space in your kitchen.
So, head out to your nearest supermarket and pick some of the freshest and juiciest artichokes for you and your loved ones.