Inventory, lb : 0
Artichokes widely vary in size and shape, depending on the variety, and generally exhibit a conical to rounded appearance. The unopened flower buds are compact, comprised of tight layers of triangular, slightly pointed green to purple bracts, sometimes referred to as leaves. At the top of the pointed bracts, a tiny thorn arises from the center, sometimes hooked, needle-like, and very sharp. Each artichoke variety will have a different type of thorn depending on pedigree and cultivation. The thick bracts are fleshy and somewhat curved, and as each layer is peeled away, the color of the bracts transforms from green to pale yellow or purple. The bracts grow smaller and smaller towards the interior, revealing a central, fleshy heart surrounded by immature florets known as the choke. Artichokes should feel heavy for their size, an indication of a large edible core, and when the buds are gently squeezed, they should emit a sound referred to as a squeak. When cooked, the lower, fleshy base of the bracts and the heart are the only portions consumed. These bracts and heart develop a soft and tender consistency and have a green, nutty, and slightly tangy vegetal flavor.
Artichokes are available in the late winter and early spring months.