I can think of no other vegetable that requires a guide on what to do with it once it’s on your plate. But, the intimidating artichoke sure deserves one. So, here’s the skinny on how to eat an artichoke.
It’s pretty rare that a vegetable is served at my house while still attached to the inedible portions of the plant. But, that is exactly what makes eating it more fun (especially for kids). Goodbye fork, hello fingers!
How To Eat An Artichoke
Did you know that a lawsuit was once filed over eating an artichoke? The complaint was that the restaurant had a duty to instruct the customer on how to eat an artichoke.
The lawyer for the defense asked if management was also expected to tell people not to eat the bones in their barbecue ribs.
All that to say, don’t feel bad for not knowing which parts of the artichoke are inedible. You’ll definitely feel better tomorrow than the customer who ate the whole thing.
How To Eat Artichokes
When you have a perfectly steamed artichoke in front of you, here are the step-by-step instructions for eating an artichoke:
First, pull off one of the outermost leaves. Dip the white, fleshy base of the leaf in your dipping sauce.
Second, place the leaf in your mouth, base first. Make sure the inner side of the leaf is against your tongue. Then, scrape the flesh off using your bottom teeth.
Third, continue eating the outer leaves, until you come to the innermost leaves which have a purple tip. You can usually remove these altogether. The lighter-colored part of these leaves is edible.
Fourth, now we have to deal with the choke. It is the fuzzy or hairy part of the artichoke between the innermost leaves and the heart. You can cut this part out with a knife or a spoon and discard it.
Fifth, at this point, all that remains should be the tender flesh of the artichoke heart atop the stem. Slice it into bites or eat it right off the stem!
How To Eat Artichokes
- Pull off one of the outermost leaves. Dip the white, fleshy base of the leaf in your dipping sauce.
- Place the leaf in your mouth, base first. Make sure the inner side of the leaf is against your tongue. Scrape the flesh off using your bottom teeth.
- When you reach the leaves with the purple tips, the lighter part is edible. The fuzzy or hairy part is the choke, cut out and discard. Enjoy the remaining flesh, the artichoke heart.