Artichokes and Who was the first Artichoke Queen?
artichokes are the large, unopened flower bud of a plant
belonging to the thistle family. The many leaf-like parts
making up the bud are called scales. Artichokes are actually a
flower bud and if allowed to fully bloom can measure up to
seven inches in diameter and become a violet-blue color.
eat the insides of these leaves dipped in mayonnaise, butter
or oil dressings. Artichoke hearts are the very center of the
flower and are used in many pasta dishes, salads, and
casseroles. These hearts can be canned and enjoyed any time of
was first developed in Sicily. In 77AD the Roman naturalist
Pliny called the choke one of earth's monstrosities, but many
continued to eat them. Historical accounts show that wealthy
Romans enjoyed artichokes prepared in honey and vinegar,
seasoned with cumin, so that this treat would be available
In the U.S.,
Artichokes were first grown in Louisiana, brought there by
settlers in the 19th century. But It was not until the early
twentieth century that artichokes were grown commercially in
the United States. In fact all the U.S. commercially grown
artichokes come from California.
Marilyn Monroe was crowned the first Queen of the Artichokes
in Castroville, California, known as the artichoke capital of
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