Friday, June 01, 2007

Artichokes


When eating artichokes in France, and in order to show oneself bien integré, one should try always to quote Coluche, who said...


The artichoke is a most interesting vegetable. It is the only vegetable where there is more left on your plate when you finish eating...


... than there was when you started.

Which is true. Whichever way you stack it. And some do it tidily...




And some don't.


20 comments:

marja-leena said...

And some take great photos - even of something so everyday (almost, I don't eat artichokes everyday)!

zhoen said...

Oh, I have not had one in ages.

Never drink tea after, tastes dreadful.

Granny J said...

An excellent essay.

Catalyst said...

Artichokes are only an excuse to eat butter. But a good excuse.

herhimnbryn said...

Fine photos! A wonderful vegetable. There is nowt like using your fingers to eat.

meggie said...

I have never tried fresh artichokes.. how much have I missed??
I love the tinned ones in my SIL's magic bread encrusted dip... but cant prise the recipe out of her! Mean!

Lesley said...

Fabulous photos. It's the teeth marks that I like best.

Plutarch said...

What do you drink when eating artichokes? Wine doesn't work, in my opinion. Water, on the other hand, seems to extend the flavour. You can almost taste the artichoke in your photographs.

apprentice said...

Yes a great series of shots, they'd grace a cook book.
Love the chard shots too. Mine are just like that - I'm wondering whether to cut them to see if they'll come again without bolting -- hmmm sorry if that sounds rather risky......

apprentice said...

Duh meant risque, sorry my brain is completely fried today.

Jean said...

I love artichokes, and your photos make my mouth water.

Cre8Tiva said...

I have thought of myself as an artichoke recently. Peeling back layers ad layers to get to my real authentic self. I am not yet there, but I keep peeling. Beautiful photos. Blessings, Rebecca

Lucy said...

Well, what a fine set of responses, thank you! Who'd have thought our chewed up artichokes would be a draw!
We go through phases with artichokes; when we first came here we ate a lot, as our best neighbour, who gave me the Coluche quote, used to grow them in large numbers in amongst his apple trees, little ones. On the Island of Brehat, up the coast, they let large numbers of them go to flower and sell them to the tourists; they are magnificent heraldic-looking things, and a heavenly blue ( Brehat is blue themed; sea and sky, agapanthus and hydrangeas, all very blue).
Zhoen - I've never done that, but I imagine it would taste funny...
GJ - thank you!
Cat - absolutely! the 'chokes themselves are incredibly low in calories for something so satisfying, but of course the butter isn't...
HHB - Yes, that is a large part of the pleasure, the finger bit!
Meggie - fresh ones are really much better than tinned, which I always find a bit acid, but they are a fiddle to prepare; the furry bristly choke part being the problem. People we know often leave it in to be dealt with on the plate, but it is a bit unappetizing, scraping it out raw is hard going and the flesh blackens quickly, so have a cut lemon to hand. But try them, the taste is delicious, and the way they get more and more fleshy and substantial as you go down... I'm sure you can get good ones in NSW, as I remember it there wasn't much you couldn't get!
Lesley - thanks, quite picturesque as teeth marks go I suppose!
Plutarch - wine doesn't go very well, it's true, I think white's better than red, and Zhoen has advised against tea, water, perhaps sparkling, probably is best!
Apprentice - I knew what you meant when you said risky, and you can't get accents in comments boxes anyway, so anglicise away! I'm sure there's a wealth of dodgy puns and double entendres to do with chard and other veg, but we won't go there!
Jean - thank you, a compliment indeed when I think of your pictures; they make my mouth water when they're not even about food!
Rebecca - ah, that tender, melting heart, what a nice idea. Welcome and thank you.

Jan said...

Years ago, we trekked through France down to Spain with 2 friends, one night stopping at a restaurant in a place (I THINK called Hesdin??)where we ate artickokes for the very 1st time.
Wonderful.
Your photos are superb.
There's some very special quality there...

Avus said...

Yes - I agree with catalyst - an excuse to eat butter - rather like asparagus.

Lucy said...

thanks Jan, Avus,
The jury's still out on the better excuse to eat butter out of the two; I think artichokes because of the relative complexity of the procedure which makes for more entertainment, plus the leaves make neat little spoons with which to scoop up more butter... On the other hand, sparrowgrass is easier to prepare.

Dave said...

Great pictures! Such an odd customer, the artichoke.

leslee said...

Oh yum! But I've always eaten them with a really good, fruity olive oil mixed with a dash of salt & pepper. Unfortunately I seem never to be able to eat one with coming away with olive oil somewhere on my clothing...

Lucy said...

Thank you, my artichoke-loving public!

marly said...

I remember there is a wonderful description of California artichokes in Helen Hunt Jackson's novel, Ramona. (She was a friend of Emily Dickinson, too. And a great motivator for change in Indian affairs.)