Personal Statement Examples History Of Artichokes

For the cuisine of the ancient Roman civilization, see Ancient Roman cuisine.

Roman cuisine comes from the Italian city of Rome. It features fresh, seasonal and simply-prepared ingredients from Roman Campagna.[1] These include: peas, globe artichokes and fava beans, shellfish, milk-fed lamb and goat, and cheeses such as Pecorino Romano and ricotta.[2]Olive oil is used mostly to dress raw vegetables, while Strutto (pork lard) and fat from prosciutto are preferred for frying.[1] The most popular sweets in Rome are, little individual pastries called pasticcini, gelato (ice cream) and handmade chocolates and candies. [3] Special dishes are often reserved for different days of the week; for example, gnocchi is eaten on Thursdays, baccalà (salted cod) on Fridays, and trippa on Saturdays.


Rome's food has evolved through centuries and periods of social, cultural, and political changes. Rome became a major gastronomical center during ancient age. Ancient Roman cuisine was highly influenced by Ancient Greek culture. Subsequently, the empire's enormous expansion exposed Romans to many new, provincial culinary habits and cooking techniques. In the beginning, the differences between social classes were not very great, but disparities developed with the empire's growth. Later, during the Renaissance, Rome became well known as a center of high-cuisine, since some of the best chefs of the time worked for the popes. An example of this could be Bartolomeo Scappi, who was a chef working for Pius IV in the Vatican kitchen, reaching fame with his cookbook Opera dell'arte del cucinare, published in 1570. Here he lists approximately 1000 recipes of Renaissance cuisine and describes cooking techniques and tools, giving the first known picture of a fork.[4]

Traditional Cucina Romana[edit]

The Testacciorione, Rome's trade and slaughterhouse area, is the place where Rome's most original and traditional foods can still be found. The area was often known as the "belly" or "slaughterhouse" of Rome, and was inhabited by butchers, or vaccinari.[5] The most common or ancient Roman cuisine included the "fifth quarter".[5] Popular foods include pig's trotters, brain, and the genitals of other animals,[5] which were often carefully cooked and richly spiced with different savouries, spices and herbs. The old-fashioned coda alla vaccinara (oxtail cooked in the way of butchers)[5] is still one of the city's most popular meals and is part of most of Rome's restaurants' menus. Lamb is also a very popular part of Roman cuisine, and is often roasted with spices and herbs.[5] There is a considerable Jewish influence in Roman cuisine, since they were many in the city, and some of the traditional meals of the ghetto date back over 400 years. Such include the carciofi alla giudia (Jewish-style artichokes) and Jewish courgettes.

Pasta in Rome[edit]

Pasta is one important element of Roman cuisine. Famous pasta sauces include amatriciana, carbonara, (a sauce made with pancetta or guanciale - pig's cheek -, cheese and egg), cacio e pepe and gricia (like carbonara but without eggs). Alfredo (invented by the chef of restaurant "Alfredo alla Scrofa") is famous abroad, but not considered traditional and mostly unheard of in Rome.

There is a pasta museum in Rome called the Museo Nazionale della Paste Alimentari (the National Museum of Pasta).[5] Rome's most common pasta shape is spaghetti, but there are many other forms.[5]


The city is known as a centre of white wine, especially with the warm territory. Frascati and Castelli Romani have been called the best ones in the city.[6]

Other elements of Roman food[edit]

There are also many other dishes in Roman cuisine, including several desserts and sweets, many of which are made with ricotta cheese. Typical of Rome is the grattachecca.[5]


The smell of baking starts early in Rome about 4 AM. Nearby, in the town of Genzano, the famous Pane di Genzano is prepared in wood fired ovens that date back centuries. The bread has an IGP geographic protection and is considered one of the best breads in Rome.


  • Bruschetta - a popular antipasto or appetizer in central Italy. It comes from the Romanesco word bread which is lightly burnt, typically rubbed with garlic and topped with oil and tomatoes.
  • Supplì - fried rice croquettes which are stuffed with beef ragout and mozzarella.
  • Bucatini all'Amatriciana - pasta dish with tomato sauce, guanciale, and grated Pecorino Romano.[7]
  • Spaghetti alla Carbonara - pasta dish with a sauce made with whipped eggs, and topped with Italian bacon, pepper and grated Pecorino Romano.
  • Rigatoni con la Pajata - pasta dish with a sauce made with ringed intestines of a milk-fed veal and pecorino cheese.[8]
  • Saltimbocca alla Romana - Roman-style veal with ham (prosciutto) and sage. Saltimbocca is a contraction of "salta in bocca", which literally means jump in the mouth.[9]
  • Scaloppine alla romana - Veal sautéed with fresh baby artichokes
  • Coda alla vaccinara - Oxtail stew, cooked with tomato sauce, celery, clove and bitter chocolate
  • Carciofi alla romana - Whole artichokes filled with minced garlic and parsley and cooked in olive oil.[10]
  • Carciofi alla giudia (Jewish style artichokes) Whole artichokes filled with chili peppers and deep fried.[10]
  • Trippa - Tripe cooked with tomato sauce and wild mint, and topped with pecorino cheese is an ancient Roman tradition.[11]
  • Fiori di Zucca - zucchini flowers filled with mozzarella cheese and anchovies, battered and deep fried.
  • Abbacchio alla cacciatora - floured lamb chops cooked in oil and vinegar, spiced with garlic, sage, anchovies and rosemary [12]
  • Crostata di ricotta - Is a richly baked cheesecake, made with ricotta, and flavored with lemons (or oranges) and Marsala wine.[5]


  • Boni, Ada (1983) [1930]. La Cucina Romana (in Italian). Roma: Newton Compton Editori. 
  • Carnacina, Luigi; Bonassisi, Vincenzo (1975). Roma in Cucina (in Italian). Milano: Giunti Martello. 
  • Malizia, Giuliano (1995). La Cucina Ebraico-Romanesca (in Italian). Roma: Newton Compton Editori. 
  • Rome. Eyewitness Travel. DK Publishing. 2006. ISBN 1-4053-1090-1. 


  1. ^ abBoni (1930), pg. 13.
  2. ^Boni (1930), pg. 14
  3. ^Eats, Serious. "Gina DePalma's Guide To Rome Sweets". Retrieved 2017-11-14. 
  4. ^(Rolland 2006, p. 273).
  5. ^ abcdefghiEyewitness Travel (2006), pg. 312 - 313
  6. ^Eyewitness Travel (2006), pg. 314 - 315
  7. ^Boni (1930), pg. 44.
  8. ^Boni (1930), pg. 150.
  9. ^Boni (1930), pg. 96.
  10. ^ abBoni (1930), pg. 156.
  11. ^Boni (1930), pg. 94.
  12. ^Boni (1930), pg. 101-2.

This article is about the globe artichoke. For other uses, see Artichoke (disambiguation).

The globe artichoke (Cynara cardunculus var. scolymus)[1] is a variety of a species of thistle cultivated as a food.

The edible portion of the plant consists of the flower buds before the flowers come into bloom. The budding artichoke flower-head is a cluster of many budding small flowers (an inflorescence), together with many bracts, on an edible base. Once the buds bloom, the structure changes to a coarse, barely edible form. Another variety of the same species is the cardoon, a perennial plant native to the Mediterranean region. Both wild forms and cultivated varieties (cultivars) exist.


This vegetable grows to 1.4–2 m (4.6–6.6 ft) tall, with arching, deeply lobed, silvery, glaucous-green leaves 50–82 cm (20–32 in) long. The flowers develop in a large head from an edible bud about 8–15 cm (3–6 in) diameter with numerous triangular scales; the individual florets are purple. The edible portions of the buds consist primarily of the fleshy lower portions of the involucral bracts and the base, known as the "heart"; the mass of immature florets in the center of the bud is called the "choke" or beard. These are inedible in older, larger flowers.

Chemical constituents[edit]

Artichoke contains the bioactive agents apigenin and luteolin.[2]

The total antioxidant capacity of artichoke flower heads is one of the highest reported for vegetables.[3]Cynarine is a chemical constituent in Cynara. The majority of the cynarine found in artichoke is located in the pulp of the leaves, though dried leaves and stems of artichoke also contain it. It inhibits taste receptors, making water (and other foods and drinks) seem sweet.[4]

Early history of use[edit]

The artichoke is mentioned as a garden plant in the 8th century BC by Homer and Hesiod. The naturally occurring variant of the artichoke, the cardoon (Cynara cardunculus), which is native to the Mediterranean area,[1] also has records of use as a food among the ancient Greeks and Romans. Pliny the Elder mentioned growing of 'carduus' in Carthage and Cordoba.[5] In North Africa, where it is still found in the wild state, the seeds of artichokes, probably cultivated, were found during the excavation of Roman-period Mons Claudianus in Egypt.[6] Varieties of artichokes were cultivated in Sicily beginning in the classical period of the ancient Greeks; the Greeks calling them kaktos. In that period, the Greeks ate the leaves and flower heads, which cultivation had already improved from the wild form. The Romans called the vegetable carduus (hence the name cardoon). Further improvement in the cultivated form appears to have taken place in the medieval period in Muslim Spain and the Maghreb, although the evidence is inferential only.[7] Names for the artichoke in English and many other European languages today (e.g. Spanish alcachofa, French artichaud) come from medieval Arabic الخرشوف al-ḫaršūf[8] (not from modern Levantine Arabic أرضي شوكي arḍī šawkī, which derives from folk-etymological reinterpretation of one or more of the European names.[9])

Le Roy Ladurie, in his book Les Paysans de Languedoc, has documented the spread of artichoke cultivation in Italy and southern France in the late 15th and early 16th centuries, when the artichoke appeared as a new arrival with a new name, which may be taken to indicate an arrival of an improved cultivated variety:

The blossom of the thistle, improved by the Arabs, passed from Naples to Florence in 1466, carried by Filippo Strozzi. Towards 1480 it is noticed in Venice, as a curiosity. But very soon veers towards the northwest...Artichoke beds are mentioned in Avignon by the notaries from 1532 onward; from the principle [sic] towns they spread into the hinterlands ... appearing as carchofas at Cavaillon in 1541, at Chateauneuf du Pape in 1553, at Orange in 1554. The local name remains carchofas, from the Italian carciofo ... They are very small, the size of a hen's egg ... and are still considered a luxury, a vaguely aphrodisiac tidbit that one preserved in sugar syrup.[10]

The Dutch introduced artichokes to England, where they grew in Henry VIII's garden at Newhall in 1530. They were taken to the United States in the 19th century—to Louisiana by French immigrants and to California by Spanish immigrants.

Agricultural output[edit]

Today, cultivation of the globe artichoke is concentrated in the countries bordering the Mediterranean basin. The main European producers are Italy, Spain, and France and the main American producers are Argentina, Peru and the United States. In the United States, California provides nearly 100% of the U.S. crop, and about 80% of that is grown in Monterey County; there, Castroville proclaims itself to be "The Artichoke Center of the World", and holds the annual Castroville Artichoke Festival. Most recently, artichokes have been grown in South Africa in a small town called Parys located along the Vaal River.

Top 12 globe artichoke producers in 2014
CountryProduction (tonnes)Footnote
 United States43,050
* = Unofficial figure | [ ] = Official data | A = May include official, semi-official or estimated data
F = FAO estimate | Im = FAO data based on imputation methodology | M = Data not available

Source: UN Food & Agriculture Organisation (FAO)[11]

Artichokes can be produced from seeds or from vegetative means such as division, root cuttings, or micropropagation. Though technically perennials that normally produce the edible flower during only the second and subsequent years, certain varieties of artichokes can be grown from seed as annuals, producing a limited harvest at the end of the first growing season, even in regions where the plants are not normally winter-hardy. This means home gardeners in northern regions can attempt to produce a crop without the need to overwinter plants with special treatment or protection. The recently introduced seed cultivar 'Imperial Star' has been bred to produce in the first year without such measures. An even newer cultivar, 'Northern Star', is said to be able to overwinter in more northerly climates, and readily survives subzero temperatures.[12]

Commercial culture is limited to warm areas in USDA hardiness zone 7 and above. It requires good soil, regular watering and feeding, and frost protection in winter. Rooted suckers can be planted each year, so mature specimens can be disposed of after a few years, as each individual plant lives only a few years. The peak season for artichoke harvesting is the spring, but they can continue to be harvested throughout the summer, with another peak period in midautumn.

When harvested, they are cut from the plant so as to leave an inch or two of stem. Artichokes possess good keeping qualities, frequently remaining quite fresh for two weeks or longer under average retail conditions.

Apart from food use, the globe artichoke is also an attractive plant for its bright floral display, sometimes grown in herbaceous borders for its bold foliage and large, purple flower heads.


Traditional cultivars (vegetative propagation)[edit]

  • Green, big: 'Vert de Laon' (France), 'Camus de Bretagne', 'Castel' (France), 'Green Globe' (USA, South Africa)
  • Green, medium-size: 'Verde Palermo' (Sicily, Italy), 'Blanca de Tudela' (Spain), 'Argentina', 'Española' (Chile), 'Blanc d'Oran' (Algeria), 'Sakiz', 'Bayrampasha' (Turkey)
  • Purple, big: 'Romanesco', 'C3' (Italy)
  • Purple, medium-size: 'Violet de Provence' (France), 'Brindisino', 'Catanese', 'Niscemese' (Sicily), 'Violet d'Algerie' (Algeria), 'Baladi' (Egypt), 'Ñato' (Argentina), 'Violetta di Chioggia' (Italy)
  • Spined: 'Spinoso Sardo e Ingauno' (Sardinia, Italy), 'Criolla' (Peru).
  • White, in some places of the world.

Cultivars propagated by seeds[edit]

  • For industry: 'Madrigal',[13] 'Lorca', 'A-106', 'Imperial Star'
  • Green: 'Symphony',[13] 'Harmony'[13]
  • Purple: 'Concerto',[13] 'Opal',[13] 'Tempo'[13]



In the US, large globe artichokes are frequently prepared by removing all but 5–10 mm (0.2–0.4 in) or so of the stem. To remove thorns, which may interfere with eating, around a quarter of each scale can be cut off. To cook, the artichoke is boiled or steamed. A cooked, unseasoned artichoke has a delicate flavour, reminiscent of fried egg white. The core of the stem tastes similar to the artichoke heart, and is edible.

Salt may be added to the water if boiling artichokes. Covered artichokes, in particular those that have been cut, can turn brown due to the enzymatic browning and chlorophyll oxidation. Placing them in water slightly acidified with vinegar or lemon juice can prevent the discoloration.

Leaves are often removed one at a time, and the fleshy base eaten, with hollandaise, vinegar, butter, mayonnaise, aioli, lemon juice, or other sauces. The fibrous upper part of each leaf is usually discarded. The heart is eaten when the inedible choke has been peeled away from the base and discarded. The thin leaves covering the choke are also edible.

In Italy, artichoke hearts in oil are the usual vegetable for "spring" section of the "Four Seasons" pizza (with olives for summer, mushrooms for autumn, and prosciutto for winter).[14] A recipe well known in Rome is Jewish-style artichokes, which are deep-fried whole.[15] The softer parts of artichokes are also eaten raw, one leaf at the time dipped in vinegar and olive oil, or thinly sliced and dressed with lemon and olive oil.

Stuffed artichoke recipes are abundant. A common Italian stuffing uses a mixture of bread crumbs, garlic, oregano, parsley, grated cheese, and prosciutto or sausage. A bit of the mixture is then pushed into the spaces at the base of each leaf and into the center before boiling or steaming.[16] A similar recipe is popular in coastal Croatia.[citation needed]

In Spain, the tenderer, younger, and smaller artichokes are used. They can be sprinkled with olive oil and left in hot ashes in a barbecue, sauteed in olive oil with garlic, with rice as a paella, or sautéed and combined with eggs in a tortilla (frittata).

Often cited is the Greek aginares a la polita ("artichokes city-style", referring to the city of Constantinople), a hearty, savory stew made with artichoke hearts, potatoes, and carrots, and flavored with onion, lemon, and dill.[17][18] The island of Tinos, or the villages of Iria and Kantia in the Peloponnese, still very much celebrate their local production, including with a day of the artichoke or an artichoke festival.[19][20]

Another way to use artichokes is to completely break off all of the leaves, leaving the bare heart. The leaves are steamed to soften the fleshy base part of each leaf to be used as the basis for any number of side dishes or appetizing dips, or the fleshy part is left attached to the heart, while the upper parts of the leaves are discarded. The remaining concave-shaped heart is often filled with meat, then fried or baked in a savory sauce. Frozen artichoke hearts are a time-saving substitute, though the consistency and stronger flavor of fresh hearts when available is preferred.

Throughout North Africa, the Middle East, Turkey, and Armenia, a favorite filling for stuffed artichoke hearts includes ground lamb. Spices reflect the local cuisine of each country. In Lebanon, for example, the typical filling would include lamb, onion, tomato, pinenuts, raisins, parsley, dill, mint, black pepper, and allspice. A popular Turkish vegetarian variety uses only onion, carrot, green peas, and salt. Artichokes are often prepared with white sauces and other sauces.[21]

Herbal tea[edit]

Artichokes can also be made into a herbal tea. "Artichoke tea" is produced as a commercial product in the Da Lat region of Vietnam. An herbal tea based on artichoke is also produced in Romania and is called Ceai de Anghinare.[22] The flower portion is put into water and consumed as a herbal tea, called alcachofa in Mexico. It has a slightly bitter woody taste.


Artichoke is the primary flavor of the 33-proof (16.5%-alcohol) Italian liqueur Cynar produced exclusively by the Campari Group. It can be served over ice as an aperitif or as a cocktail mixed with orange juice, especially popular in Switzerland. It is also used to make a 'Cin Cyn', a slightly less-bitter version of the Negroni cocktail, by substituting Cynar in place of Campari.

Medical research[edit]

Artichoke leaf extract has been investigated for its potential to lower cholesterol levels for people with hypercholesterolaemia, but no convincing medical evidence indicates it is effective.[23]


The globe artichoke genome has been sequenced.[24][25] The genome assembly covers 725 of the 1,084 Mb genome and the sequence codes for about 27,000 genes. Understanding of the genome structure is important to understanding traits of globe artichoke and may aid in the identification of economically important genes from related species.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ abRottenberg, A., and D. Zohary, 1996: "The wild ancestry of the cultivated artichoke." Genet. Res. Crop Evol. 43, 53–58.
  2. ^Cesar G. Fraga. Plant Phenolics and Human Health– Biochemistry, Nutrition and Pharmacology. Wiley. p.9
  3. ^Ceccarelli N., Curadi M., Picciarelli P., Martelloni L., Sbrana C., Giovannetti M. "Globe artichoke as a functional food" Mediterranean Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism 2010 3:3 (197–201)
  4. ^Feifer, Jason (May 2011). "A Matter of Taste". Men's Health. 26 (4): 140. 
  5. ^Bulit, Jean-Marc. "Vegetables in Medieval Europe" (in French). Retrieved 29 May 2017. 
  6. ^Vartavan, C. (de) and Asensi Amoros, V. 1997 Codex of Ancient Egyptian Plant Remains. London, Triade Exploration. Page 91
  7. ^Watson, Andrew. Agricultural innovation in the early Islamic world. Cambridge University Press. p.64
  8. ^"Artichoke" at American Heritage Dictionary
  9. ^Rosenhouse, Judith; Kowner, Rotem (2008). Globally Speaking: Motives for Adopting English Vocabulary in Other Languages. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters. pp. 35–36. 
  10. ^Quoted in Wheaton, Barbara Ketcham, Savoring the Past, (Touchstone Books, 1983) pages 66–67.
  11. ^"Major Food And Agricultural Commodities And Producers – Countries By Commodity". Archived from the original on 2013-01-14. Retrieved Feb 20, 2017. 
  12. ^Peters Seed and ResearchArchived December 7, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  13. ^ abcdefNunhems Vegetable Seeds
  14. ^"Four Seasons Pizza". Retrieved 2011-01-17. 
  15. ^"Jewish Artichokes". Retrieved 2011-01-17. 
  16. ^"Stuffed Artichokes". Epicurious. Retrieved 2011-01-17. 
  17. ^"Artichokes "City-Style"". Retrieved 2011-01-17. 
  18. ^"Artichokes a la polita". Archived from the original on 15 December 2010. Retrieved 2011-01-17. 
  19. ^"Iria – Candia – Karnazaiika". Municipality of Nafplio. Retrieved 2017-01-02. 
  20. ^"The Artichoke in Tinos". Retrieved 2017-01-02. 
  21. ^Diderot, Denis. "Artichokes". The Encyclopedia of Diderot & d'Alembert Collaborative Translation Project. Retrieved 1 April 2015. 
  22. ^Proprietatile ceaiului de anghinare,
  23. ^Wider B, Pittler MH, Thompson-Coon J, Ernst E (2013). "Artichoke leaf extract for treating hypercholesterolaemia". Cochrane Database Syst Rev (Systematic review). 3: CD003335. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD003335.pub3. PMID 23543518. 
  24. ^"D. Scaglione, S. Reyes-Chin-Wo, A. Acquadro, L. Froenicke, E. Portis, C. Beitel, M. Tirone, R. Mauro, A. Lo Monaco, G. Mauromicale, P. Faccioli, L. Cattivelli, L. Rieseberg, R. Michelmore & S Lanteri. (2016) The genome sequence of the outbreeding globe artichoke constructed de novo incorporating a phase-aware low-pass sequencing strategy of F1 progeny". doi:10.1038/srep19427. 
  25. ^

Rezazadeh, A., Ghasemnezhad, A., Barani, M., & Telmadarrehei, T. (2012). Effect of Salinity on Phenolic Composition and Antioxidant Activity of Artichoke (Cynara scolymus L.) Leaves. Research Journal of Medicinal Plant, 6(3).

External links[edit]

Artichoke head with flower in bloom
Some varieties of artichoke display purple coloration.
Globe artichokes being cooked

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