What Part of the Artichoke Plant is Eaten?

Artichokes are huge, furry and look totally unappetizing, let alone, edible.  But this gorgeous thistle isn’t just there for display – it’s also meant to be consumed.  But which part of the artichoke plant can you eat?

With artichokes, eating shouldn’t be intuitive.  Popping the leaves in your mouth and simply chewing away will cause not satisfaction, but havoc.  The leaves of the artichoke are tough with sharp tips that can create trouble in your digestive system.

If haven’t tried eating artichokes but is planning to, the first thing you should remember is the furry part and small leaves in the middle cannot be eaten.  This part should be scraped away.

The flower is what is eaten in artichokes – or more specifically, the unopened flower head.  Its stem is also edible.  After peeling the outer layer of the stem, you will be rewarded with a taste similar to the artichoke’s most delicious part – the heart.

Although in ancient times, the bottoms of the leaves are what’s usually eaten, it has been recently discovered that the “heart” is the best part of this thistle.

After eating the bottom part of the leaves starting from the base slowly advancing to the middle part, remove the “choke” or the stringy piece at the middle of the globe.  Scrape away the coarse hairy area to expose the heart.  Now you can simply eat the whole heart.

Large artichokes are tough and tasteless, but medium-sized ones are tender and delectable.  They can be served hot or cold and are often dipped in butter before being consumed.  Very young artichokes are completely palatable – including the leaves, choke and everything.


One Response to “What Part of the Artichoke Plant is Eaten?”

  1. DL says:

    where can i buy artichokes? i have been looking for them everywhere. any suggestions?