An artichoke can be an intimidating thing; it does not look as tasty as some people may claim so, and the vegetable seems too hard to chew. The vegetable (or fruit?) seems to come with an air of mystery that anyone faced with a plate for the first time can just go ahead and try to saw of the bulb in half, usually unsuccessfully.
And speaking of the unsuccessful, this dear fist of leaves became involved in a lawsuit. Did a diner deliberately use the artichoke as a good object to throw after a waiter? Well, we haven’t heard of that news yet, but interestingly, this legal battle goes back to the very basic as to why Artichoke 101 should at least merit a day in Home Economics class. Apparently, a doctor in Miami is suing a restaurant for failing to give him proper instructions how to eat the artichoke he ordered; as a result, the doctor experienced “severe abdominal pain and discomfort”which was caused by the lodged artichoke leaves found in the doctor’s “small bowel”.
See, the thing is, even a doctor does not know how to eat an artichoke, but due to curiosity and assumed intelligence, an artichoke should be in place if found on the menu. Besides, isn’t this a sign of being, uh, cultured? That eating an artichoke spell sophistication? It might not be elegant to end up in a hospital with lodged leaves in your “small bowel”causing sever pain, but an artichoke fulfills the curiosity of the curious, and with that, we bow to the doctor for at least daring to eat this vegetable without asking the waiters how to do it in the first place.
Eating an artichoke is not too complicated at all, that is, if you know what you are doing. And since you are reading this, might as well find out how to properly do it.
An important note is that a whole artichoke is usually served with melted butter or lemon juice. Restrain yourself from bathing your artichoke with these juices.
Pick off the leaves; you’d be surprised how easy it peels off. Take a leaf and dip it in the sauce. And then, scrape the soft flesh of the leaf using the incisors; now you can eat this. Discard the rest of the leaf; do not even think of licking it off, unless you are in the private confines of your home.
Now this isn’t so hard, don’t you think?
Well, the artichoke journey does not end there; there is still the heart to devour. As you have peeled off all the leaves, you will reach a fuzzy center of the artichoke. Scoop it out using a spoon as it is inedible. Eventually, you will find the heart. Have the pleasure to cut this into smaller pieces and dip it into the bowl. Or you can be more adventurous and taste it on its own. Mmm.
See, the moral of the story is, if you do not want to end up in a hospital, have the guts to ask. Otherwise, do not order it. Waiters can assume you know what you are doing as you ordered it in the first place. An artichoke is not that intimidating to eat,; you just need to have a bit of time to read up on how to actually do it without embarrassing yourself. And when you finally know how to eat it, every artichoke you encounter is indeed a tasty journey.