Artichokes are a delicious and very underused vegetable and can be a fantastic addition to any meal. They’re also very good for you. To try and inspire some of you budding home chefs we’ve created a taste guide where we answer the question – What do Artichokes taste like? Although artichokes have been around for a while, they’re not the most popular dinner accompaniment and at the first look, they might not even resemble food!
Their taste remains a mystery for lots of people. At first sight, you would wonder whether it is a flower or a vegetable. In this post, we will brief you on the taste of artichokes prepared a number of different ways. Hopefully after this you might give them a try. If you do, I guarantee you will find yourself finding ways to include them in your favorite meals.
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What Are Artichokes?
Artichokes are a new type of vegetable, believed to have been found in the Mediterranean region first. Some people believe that the plant originated from Northern Africa. These are actually thistle buds that are yet to mature. People consume them as food before they blossom fully into purple flowers. Irrespective of their origin and taste, they are presently found in different parts of the world. Currently, there are more than 100 varieties of artichokes.
Artichokes contain a high amount of minerals and essential vitamins. Along with this, they contain antioxidants, folic acid, and dietary fiber. This makes them a valuable ingredient for healthy diets.
What Do Artichokes Taste Like?
Now that you know that there’s a new vegetable on the market, you would want to know what do artichokes taste like. Most people who enjoy artichokes love the powerful earthy flavor of this vegetable. This is somewhat similar to the flavor that you find in asparagus and celery.
Some people also find a resemblance between artichokes and turnips in terms of taste. Since this vegetable comes in different variations, the opinions seem to be greatly varied. Some of the popular variants are the green globe, oblong Siena, and petite mercury.
Make sure to consume fresh artichokes to get an idea of their actual taste. The reason is, the flavor and texture of these vegetables start changing with time. Therefore, cook these artichokes immediately after purchasing them from the market. Alternatively, freeze them properly to maintain the flavor.
The taste of artichokes largely depends on the preparation you go for, just like with other food items. Besides, their freshness goes a long way in determining the taste. Ultimately, you can’t compare the flavor of uncooked artichokes to the steamed, roasted, or fried ones.
To give you a broader idea, we have discussed what do artichokes taste like in different preparations.
This is a relatively common way to consume artichokes. The process is effective, easy, and fast. Most importantly, the vegetables retain most of their nutritional value when you consume them in the steamed form. In raw form, artichokes often appear tasteless or have a mild flavor. Once you steam them, they appear juicier, softer, and sweeter.
The process of steaming artichokes is similar to the one through which you cook rice. Therefore, you might use a rice cooker to prepare artichokes in steamed form.
Fresh artichokes refer to uncooked vegetables. Like carrots, you can consume raw artichokes. However, this is not a common way to eat artichokes. The advantage of consuming artichokes raw is that the nutritional value, including vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals would benefit your health.
Raw artichokes taste nutty, crunchy, and light. Besides, the taste is not bitter, and often fits any salad!
Frying artichokes is one of the best ways to prepare them. This happens to be a more flexible way of preparing them. The reason is, you would love the flavor and texture in fried form. Moreover, you would have better combinations and options when you consume them in fried format.
While cooking, simply stir-fry or pan-fry the artichokes. However, they would not be as nutritious as the steamed or boiled ones. You would be losing a part of the nutrients due to heat exposure when you fry them. However, you can make this up with the taste factor!
When fried, artichokes taste like asparagus to some extent. However, the flavor of artichokes is nuttier and sweeter, as compared to asparagus. Besides, some people find a similarity between the fried egg white and fried artichokes. When you stir-fry or deep-fry these vegetables, use a high-quality pot or pan. This would ensure zero loss of flavor.
Steamed and boiled artichokes taste almost the same. In boiled form, you would love the nutty and sweet taste. However, if your taste buds expect something spicy, this form would not suit you. To enhance the taste, make sure to add salt when you boil the vegetable in a vessel.
You can serve boiled artichokes with mayonnaise, butter, or any sauce. This goes on to enhance the flavor.
Besides, there’s a lot of room for experimentation, so you can always come up with an innovative recipe with these vegetables in boiled form.
Well, if you love experimenting with food, or have a fascination with unorthodox methods of cooking, you might like grilled artichokes. You would certainly love the tasty dish that comes up after spreading some artichokes over a grill.
When you grill this vegetable, that enhances its flavor. Grilled artichokes are among the tastiest preparations you can make using this vegetable. You would admire the intensified and distinct taste, which is generally nutty or mild. Grilling it would make it smoky and sweeter. You would also find it similar to asparagus in grilled form.
How To Cook Artichokes
If you need any essential kitchen utensils to help you prepare or cook your Artichokes, I recommend you check out our new Ultimate Guide.
Now, you can try out any of the formats mentioned in this article, since you know what artichokes taste like. The best time to purchase artichokes is around the fall or spring. This ensures that you would cherish the strongest flavor, along with the high nutritional value.
Look out for these vegetables that come in a fiber green color. Go for the ones that are heavier than they seem. The reason is, they should not appear hollow, but plump. The ones with a tight head and compact leaves are better, considering the qualitative aspects.
Artichokes are worth trying out, considering their taste and nutritional value. Choosing the right form to cook these awesome vegetables is your discretion, depending on your food habits and personal preferences.
Read also: What Does Pesto Taste Like?