I thought I’d died and gone to artichoke heaven.
Seriously. I cannot describe to you my feelings after stepping in between the rows and rows of artichoke plants, with perfectly formed, purple Sangria artichokes popping up to the heavens for as far as the eye could see. It was surreal.
I was at Baroda Farms in Lompoc, California, along with my blogger friends Cathy from She Paused For Thought, Valentina from Cooking on the Weekends, Kelly from Tasting Page and Judy, who organized the event, from Two Broads Abroad. Mary and Oakley from Frieda’s Produce, were our gracious hosts along with Steve Jordan, owner of Baroda Farms, who gave us such a fantastic tour of his artichoke fields and filled us with awe as he recounted many facts and stories relating to the prickly thistles.
As this was my first farm outing, I didn’t realize the beauty I was to witness that day, so I only had my iPhone, but everyone else brought their “real” cameras. I urge you to visit their blogs as some of their shots are truly breathtaking; you will find all the links at the bottom of this post.
Artichokes aren’t just wonderful to look at and the most photogenic of thistles, there are many reasons why you should be eating artichokes, if you aren’t already…and here are my Top Five:
5 REASONS YOU SHOULD BE EATING ARTICHOKES
1. They’re easy to cook, and extremely versatile.
Don’t be scared of them. I know they look very intimidating, but they are so easy to work with when you know what to do: Here are two recipes to get you started with one of the most common artichokes, complete with step by step directions.
If you don’t want to mess around, here is the simplest and tastiest way to prepare artichokes; just click HERE.
If you do want to mess around, and “gild the lily” so to speak, then click HERE.
2. They are good for your health.
From the Washingtonion:
They are a great source of fiber.“In addition, artichokes contain polyphenols, which are disease-fighting compounds. They’re also a treasure trove of anti-inflammatory antioxidants. A 2004 study by the US Department of Agriculture found that artichokes were one of the top vegetables in terms of total antioxidant levels. They also contain vitamins C and K, magnesium, potassium, and folate.”
(I have to add my two cents here: like so many healthy foods, some people tend to make artichokes less healthy, by dipping them in mayonnaise. Step away from the mayo and try steaming them with a little olive oil, salt and garlic, which will increase the artichokes’ final nutritional value, and flavor; the recipe is at the top).
3. Artichokes are incredibly delicious.
This is subjective, I know, but you don’t realize how picky I am when it comes to fruits and vegetables! Artichokes have such a unique and pleasing flavor; you at least need to try them if you haven’t done so.
Okay, tell me who isn’t impressed by someone who loves or eats artichokes?
5. Patriotic: help your fellow Americans!
In my opinion, Americans do not eat enough artichokes. They are not widely available to those in smaller towns, simply because there are not enough people to buy them if they were to be sold in their markets. Let’s spread the good news of the beautiful artichoke: tell your produce manager that you want to discover the wonderful world of artichokes! The more artichokes we eat, the more popular they will become!
After our trip to Baroda Farms, we decided to cook artichokes together, because that’s what food bloggers do! To see more about artichokes and find out what we cooked together, see the links below.
And Judy and her assistant filmed the event, so stay tuned…
With special thanks to Frieda’s Produce and Steve Jordan of Baroda Farms!
Left to right: Valentina from Cooking on the Weekends
Judy from Two Broads Abroad
Cathy from She Paused For Thought
Front and Center…Kelly from Tasting Page
Life in LA…
A mural in Lompoc…about a two hour drive north of LA.