Growing up Portuguese…or maybe because I grew up in the Bay Area near Salinas…we ate a lot of artichokes. Some call them a sponge for mayonnaise…and I certainly don’t skimp when I prepare mine. Later on I realized that some people dip the ends into melted butter, a little more upscale than my Best Foods Mayo. I was so happy when I started seeing lots and lots of great looking and great tasting artichokes at Ed’s stand at the Farmers Market. One of the nicest thing is that they are available in very early spring — so when I shop I can get both artichokes and asparagus (and a jar of Mayo!).
Some things I didn’t know about artichokes is…that Marilyn Monroe was the first Artichoke Queen (of course she was…) and that artichokes are our “state vegetable”…I have to admit…I didn’t know we had a state vegetable. In Salinas, they sell T-shirts with pictures of artichokes and they call them Portuguese Pineapples…I definitely see the similarity in the way they look…but that’s where it ends.
Ed Cohen’s artichokes have really taken off — the day before he came in for the interview they planted 10,000 artichokes — so ladies and gentlemen — prepare yourself for having that option from early spring into winter. YUM!