The artichoke is one of the plants that have been used since ancient times due to its remarkable beneficial properties: in fact, already at the time of the Greeks and Romans, the artichoke was considered as one of those plants particularly important from a medicinal point of view and treatises and manuscripts have been dedicated to describe its characteristics and beneficial properties.
The artichoke, nowadays, is considered a vegetable that falls within the large category of Composites.
In any case, this plant can boast a completely erect development, even if the artichoke does not usually reach high heights, since at most it exceeds one meter; the fruits of the artichoke, on the other hand, are characterized by being different depending on the species of artichoke taken into consideration, since there are types without thorns, ... continue
Articles on: artichoke
continue ..., others in which they abound, even if in any case the dimensions are always quite limited.
An artichoke, to be considered excellent (especially from a culinary point of view) must have some requirements, it must be characterized by a closed tip, as well as the leaves that are on the outside must have a typical dark color, inside the leaves they must be kept rather tender and, among other technical characteristics, the fluff must be missing and the stem must not suffer or show dents.
When we talk about artichoke, we are referring to a perennial and herbaceous plant: the part of the plant that is edible is the one corresponding to the flower and the central heart (especially the latter, since it is the best area precisely because more tender).
The cultivation of the artichoke takes place throughout the Italian peninsula, but we must not forget how the areas in which this activity is concentrated most are found in Puglia, Campania, Sicily, Lazio and Tuscany, while within the old continent others two nations that stand out from this point of view are France and Spain.
The main varieties of artichoke that are grown within the Italian peninsula can be differentiated in relation to production: in this sense, we can find the autumn and spring varieties.
The autumn varieties of artichoke include all those species whose cultivation takes place mainly towards the coastal area of the southern Italian regions: the production of artichokes takes place during the winter season, since it begins in October or November, while it ends with the arrival of spring (in some cases it also lasts until late May). In most cases, the production deriving from the autumn varieties is mainly used by the canning industry.
In the second type of variety, namely the spring ones, the artichoke plants are grown in the coastal areas of the central-northern Italian regions: in this case, the production usually coincides with the period between February (or March) and May ( or June).
The artichoke, when it is covered in the supermarket or in any other fruit and vegetable shop, must possess some requisites in order to be considered excellent: it is the stem, which must have a good consistency and must be very straight, while the tip must be that it is not open and the leaves must have a dark green color that can tend to purple and must be particularly fleshy.
Obviously, artichokes are often used in the kitchen for the creation of a huge number of recipes and have the characteristic of being able to keep in the fridge for a long time (almost a month), but if they are cooked, then they must be eaten in the fridge. 'immediate.
As many housewives will know, artichokes can be cooked in various ways: there are those who cook them in vinegar, those who prefer in oil, while others eat them plain or even frozen.
The artichoke represents one of those vegetables that can boast a high nutritional value: in fact, there is a completely residual caloric intake, but inside it we find rich quantities of iron, but also sodium, potassium, vitamins (especially vitamins A, B1, B2 and PP), as well as tannins, citric and malic acids and many other components.
The most important substance that can be found inside a vegetable such as artichoke is undoubtedly the cynarin: it is an active ingredient that is found inside the leaves, but also in the juice of the plant and has a particularly bitter taste.
This active principle is characterized by carrying out an important beneficial action as regards diuresis and also allows a better biliary secretion, but it is necessary to emphasize the fact that cooking the artichoke tends to remove this component.
Furthermore, artichokes are characterized by having a beneficial action on the levels of cholesterol and triglycerides found in the blood, while also managing to guarantee excellent support in the intestine and also on the heart system.