Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Artichoke: Flower or food?

As you may know, I'm growing an artichoke in the front yard. It's almost harvest time, but I'm having trouble deciding between food or flower.

Artichokes that you might buy at the farmer's market or grocery store are the immature flower buds of the artichoke plant. Kind of like cauliflower or broccoli, with one major exception. Artichoke flowers are gorgeous!

photo courtesy of: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net


What do you think?

Food, to feed the tummies?











photo courtesy of: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net


Or a flower, to feed the soul?





















photo courtesy of: http://www.freeclipartpictures.com

12 comments:

Heather said...

Won't you get several side ones after the top one is picked? Mine never make it to this point but my friend's always gets more to eat or bloom after the main one is picked. Don't quote me on that though.

Michelle said...

Tough choice! I guess it depends on how hungry you are for that yummy delicious artichoke...

Kara said...

Gorgeous! I'm so glad someone else is growing these- I have some I started from seed a few months ago hiding between the corn and cauliflower!

Josie said...

My MIL was telling me to let some go to flower because the flowers are so gorgeous and I'm having a hard time not eating them all! Luckily we have quite a few so I plan to resist at least one for the blooms.

Jackie said...

Heather, I can already see some little ones developing :)

Michelle, pretty hungry ;)

Kara, from SEED?! That's dedication. I look forward to hearing about how yours do.

Josie, that sounds like a good plan...if you can resist ;)

Sande said...

I've only eaten artichoke, never grown it. It never occurred to me that it flowered or to wonder what the flower looked like. Duh!! Now I know. It's beautiful. Thanks for posting.

Sherri said...

I'm 44 and had never eaten an artichoke until just a few months ago. I have a friend in culinary school and he asked me to come to a dinner prepared by his class. Artichoke was served and I was to embarassed to tell anyone I had never tried it before - so hesitantly, I tried it. It was delicious! So my vote is food for the tummy

Jackie said...

Hi Sande, I would have never known either...except I moved to artichoke capitial of the world!

Jackie said...

Hi Sherri, 9 years ago I was served steamed artichoke at a dinner party...no clue what was going on! I had to ask for instructions. Now I live in CA, where they are more common. Tummy is probably where it's headed...

Laura Z said...

I vote for heating up some butter, herbs and mayo on the side. But you could always let one flower. Thanks for posting the photo, I've never let mine flower.

You're closer to Castroville than me (LA) have you ever been to the artichoke festival?

Jackie said...

Hi Laura, I went to the artichoke festival a couple years ago. It's mostly 'festival' with a little bit of 'artichoke' on the side :)

Stefaneener said...

I have one out front too! I'd like another -- and then it would be less of a conflict.