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Jan 19, 2007 06:08 AM

Frostbitten artichokes - do they taste better?

I was looking at 3 different sizes of ugly brown, beat-up looking artichokes. A lady standing next to me said that she just had some the night before, and that they were very tasty.

They were delicious all right. Have you tried frostbitten artichokes?

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  1. I got 5 large ones for a buck at the Alemany farmers market toward the end of the session, a saving of at least $6.50 versus supermarket prices. Lady said she had a hard time selling them. Growing up not far from Castroville, I'd always been told that they taste better. Maybe we appreciate them more in the cold time of year. Should be plenty of them on the market now.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Melanie Wong

      Great idea - visiting the farmers market later in the day for such opportunistic buys.

      Berkeley Bowl's artichokes weren't such bargains after all!

      1. re: Melanie Wong

        Like Melanie, I've always been told they're better -- maybe the frost concentrates the flavors somehow. Maybe it's just marketing <vbg>. At any rate, the only negative effect is cosmetic, so sometimes they're cheaper.

        Berkeley Bowl has a "bargain produce" area in the back of the produce section. I've gotten bags of artichokes there that were getting a little old or moldy and really splurged by discarding all the leaves and just cooking the hearts (sliced and sauteed in butter and garlic: yum!).

      2. Yes, I can't say they are better but they are sometimes cheaper. I've never had a bad one.

        1. The frost-bitten ones are the best. The outer leaves are brown.
          I bought some at the Bowl on Monday -- they were 39 cents each (not in the "bargain" marked down section of the store either!) and they are delicious.

          1. I am artichoke addict and the frostbit ones are tasty. The best artichokes are the ones that picked in the spring. The fall crop is are a little woody in texture. They are all good...but spring is the seaon for the tender ones.
            I have a new Southern Italian recipe that is yummy.
            Cut the artichoke is half lengthwise. Scrap out that furry stuff above the heart (the part we never eat). Trim off the thorns with scissors. Rinse it well under cold water. Place the chokes leaf side down in one inch of water (I use a fry pan with a lid). Drizzle olive oil over the chokes. Place a pat of butter in each choke. Chop one half of a white onion and sprinkle it over the chokes. Sprinlke some chopped parsley. Sprinkle some cinnamon over the chokes. Cover the pan Bring the water to a boil...steam on med. high for 15 minutes..then simmer until soft (I like them al dente). These are addicting.
            I served them for Christmas dinner..and they were a big hit.