Belonging to the botanical family of Asteraceae, artichokes are herbaceous plants of the basin of Mediterranean. Of these vegetables are consumed the inflorescences before their blossoming and part of the stem. There are numerous variety of artichokesin Italy there are crops that represent its excellence ed it is possible to consume them both raw and cooked. The characteristics of artichokes they are numerous and vary according to the species. We find them in Christmas menu e you Easterthe Italian culinary tradition is full of recipes that see them as protagonists, just think of the artichokes alla giudia oh artichokes alla Romana. But then what is it artichoke seasonality? Let’s go step by step.
Nutritional values of artichokes
Despite being vegetable, artichokes contain a high amount of protein and a small amount of carbohydrates. I’m very rich in fibre and have a very low insulin index, are therefore indicated in case of diabetes. As far as minerals are concerned, artichokes are rich in calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium. I’m a great source of Vitamin C and Vitamin E. They also contain a substance called cynarina polyphenol that protects the liver.
Properties and benefits of artichokes
In addition to protecting the liver systemartichokes are allies of that cardiovascular and reduce blood cholesterol. It is a vegetable diuretic thanks to its high water component and is highly recommended in low-calorie diets for its protein content.
The seasonality of artichokes
The seasonality of artichokes can be divided into two large groups:
I uniferous artichokes are those that are collected between March and June, while those remontant they are harvested between October and November, after a winter break they are harvested again in May.
The parts of the artichoke
An infallible way to get to know artichokes is to get to know their parts. The peep it is the private edible part of the stem, the external and internal leaves (closer to the heart) are called bracts. To the heartthe most tender part, there is the stubble which must always be removed as it is not edible. Then there is the Gambo which has a tough, stringy exterior that protects a tender, fleshy interior.
The types of artichoke
Another classification that is made on these vegetables depends on its structure. There are prickly artichokes e helpless artichokes, the former obviously have thorns while the latter have none. There is also a classification that is done by color, green or violet artichokesbut this is a rather difficult parameter because many species have both colors in the leaves.
Common varieties of artichokes
Artichoke from Brindisi
It is a product IGP and it’s uniferous and helpless, the outer leaves are greenish with slight light purple hues, while the inner leaves are light with white and violet hues. Excellent raw, but also boiled or cooked in the oven and in a pan.
Sicilian violet artichoke
Its flower head is slightly elongated, the bracts are green but reach purplish hues in the hottest periods. It is a helpless artichoke with a delicate and slightly bitter taste.
Sardinian spiny artichoke
It’s an artichoke prickly and has a head elongated conical, green in color with brownish-violet hues and yellow thorns on the bracts. The stem is short fibrous and tender. The texture is meaty, tender and crunchy. The scent is intense and floral. The taste is characterized by the right balance between bitter and sweet.
Violet artichoke from Romagna
This is a prized variety with great flavor. Its flower heads are globular and violet in color. It is spineless and quite large in size. It is a remontant species.
Violet or Romanesco artichoke
Round and with a delicate flavour, the Romanesco artichoke has no thorns and is single-bearing. Its leaves are green but with slightly violet hues in some cases.
Tuscan violet artichoke
Typical of the Livorno coast, Tuscan violet is particularly suitable for preparation in oil. It does not like the cold and is therefore a uniferous species. It is a green vegetable which, however, also has a very tasty violet variety from which the famous ones are prepared artichokes in oil from Val di Cornia.
White artichoke from Pertosa
Its leaves are very light green tending to white and it is unique in its kind. Its head is spherical. These are protected artichokes since endangered. They have a very large size and are excellent in oil but also raw or creamed.
Typical of the Venice lagoon, the Sant’Erasmo artichoke is tender, fleshy, elongated and prickly. Its bracts are violet. Try it fried or as an accompaniment to schie (small prawns typical of the lagoon).
Violet artichoke from Provence
This artichoke is helpless, the leaves are purplish and its heart tends towards straw yellow. Tender and crunchy at the same time, it has a delicate flavor that is perfect for salads.
Collected between the end of March and April, it is a late artichoke related to the Roman one. It is also called “mazzaferrata”, it is green with shades of very intense purple. Without thorns, it has a rounded and slightly elongated shape.