Demystifying the artichoke

For many, the artichoke is confounding. While considered a delicacy in Mediterranean and Californian cuisine, for the uninitiated, figuring out how to unearth its prized heart can be a mystery.

The artichoke is the bud of a thistle. The leaves cover a hairy center, or choke, perched over the meaty heart, which is the artichoke’s culinary treasure. It takes a little bit of work, admittedly, but once you understand the do’s and don’ts of trimming and cooking an artichoke, it’s a breeze, if not a sport.