To Turn Artichokes

Appears in
Ten Vineyard Lunches

By Richard Olney

Published 1988

  • About
Avoid artichokes with dried, discolored outer leaves. Size is not an indication of age. Whether they be globe artichokes or one of the more elongated varieties, the contour at the base of the leaves should describe a clean curve and the stem should be thick in relation to the size of the artichoke. Narrow, fibrous stems and an indented profile above the base of the artichoke are indications of age and toughness. Given these signs - and on condition that there is enough stem to grasp hold of (in France, artichokes are sold with their stems —this is not always true elsewhere) —the stem should be broken off, rather than cut, at the base, pulling out the fibrous strings which, otherwise, remain lodged in the bottom.