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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Artichoke

Some foods, they say, are an acquired taste. People have to be socialized into liking them, because these foods do not just jump out at our senses and introduce themselves to us as food. If somebody doesn't tell us, we won't even realize that they are edible. And when we try them, our taste buds feel underwhelmed. But in time, in the right social setting, we may become accustomed to them, and we may even grow to like them.


Artichoke has often been classified as an acquired taste. Last night, I made the experiment of introducing Bow to artichoke.

While Bow did not at first know how to approach the artichoke and had to be coached on how to eat it, he seemed to like the taste of it right away. In time, he found his own way to eat an artichoke.


However, as is often the case with him, Bow did not agree to leave the best for last. Once he figured out that the heart was better than the leaves, he went straight for the heart. And having had his fill, he ate no more.

So while the taste for artichoke was successfully acquired in a single tasting, I don't think Bow will be dining on artichoke again anytime, soon. Artichoke eating at my house is an exercise in deferred gratification. We start with the outermost leaves and work our way up to the heart. If  you can't handle deferred gratification, no artichoke for you!

7 comments:

  1. I saw this beautiful object in the market, wondering how it can be cooked. Thanks for sharing this. Now I know I can just eat it like that. :)
    I also learned the expression: deferred gratification.

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    1. June, you have to boil it first until the fleshy parts are soft! I guess I should have mentioned that.

      Also, many people like to dip the edible parts (the soft portion of the leaf and the heart) in some kind of sauce: mayonnaise or sour cream or something like that. But we keep it simple around here.

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  2. Oh. Oops. Ha. It's good to know that it has to be boiled first. :)

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  3. No artichoke for you, I love that line. I too sort of had a hard time with scrapping artichokes through my teeth, and recently I discovered how someone chopped up an artichoke and put it in a stir fry, and I like it much more that way. It does not mean I would go out and buy one tomorrow to try this, but I would certainly eat that dish again if someone else made it. I adore egg plants and like to make baba ganoush, which drives my sister bonkers, so I guess we all have vegetables with like more than others. Artichokes just are not high on my list, although the flavor is okay. I just do not enjoy the way these are traditionally eaten.

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    1. I somehow missed this comment earlier.

      I like eggplant, too. The way I make it, we all can share, because the pulp gets mashed and mixed with garlic and lemon. So there is no "best part" and no requirement for deferred gratification.

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  4. Artichokes are not high on my favorite list, but I recently discovered I like these more when someone made it in a non-traditional way, putting it in a stir fry.

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    1. Julia, I would love to learn more about the stir fry method.

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