Saturday, January 9, 2010

...nine/threehundredsixtyfive...

The Enigmatic Artichoke.  A large green fleshy flower with mystical flavor power.  This is my favorite vegetable.

I have been eating artichokes all my life, my father used to bring these strange things home and steam them unil the kitchen was engulfed in the unique aroma.  He would plop this whole monstrosity on a plate in front of me and with a bowl of melted butter.  Each petal falling off the flower with the slightest touch, we would forget our manners and slop them into the butter and scrape the soft meat from the petals.  Devouring them petal by petal until the thistley "choke" was uncovered.  The little hairy seeds would be scraped out with surgical precision leaving the piece de resistance, the heart.  The heart was dunked like a cookie into the now coagulated butter and eaten whole, I really can't think of a better taste.  I've introduced them to my children and they love them as I did.  They're so much fun to eat and taste like nothing in the world. 

If you've never eaten a steamed artichoke then got to the store now...I'll wait.
...

Now, just steam the hell out of them (about and hour) until the leaves just fall off, really it's very easy.

Ready to eat? 

That strange sweetness you are experiencing?  It's less a taste and more of a feeling and it's making a party in your mouth.  It's called Cynarin.  It's actually a bitter substance that hits the saliva and makes everything you eat taste vaguely sweet.  Enjoy.

If artichokes were heroin I'd be in rehab. 
Well be enjoying these monsters (these are the biggest I've ever seen) with fresh hollandaise sauce and poached eggs.

Now I'm drooling and need to get to the kitchen so I bid you adeiu until tomorrow.