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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Seasonal Vegetable Profile: Artichokes

Taste: A chemical compound found in artichokes called cynarin inhibits the sweet receptors on our tongues, so desserts will taste especially sweet when followed by a course including these members of the lettuce family.

Harvest: Each flowering stem produces one large artichoke at the tip and several smaller ones below. Harvest the central bud first when its scales are tightly closed and the globe is about the size of an orange.

Health: This flower bud contains a flavonoid called silymarin, which works as an antioxidant to help protect artery walls from damaging LDL cholesterol.

Etymology: The word “artichoke” comes from the Italian word cocali which means pinecone.

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McGee, Harold. On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen. Scribner: New York, 2004.
Health content provided by Liz Applegate, Director of Sports Nutrition, UC Davis,

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