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Aug 17, 2007 05:41 PM

Aftertaste with baby artichokes

This is my first time preparing baby artichokes, and they are giving me an awful aftertaste exactly like an artificial sweetener. I've prepared them 2 ways (sauteed and steamed), 3 days apart, with the same results. I've had globe artichokes at home before, and they were great. My baby chokes taste normal at first, but afterwards is terrible. This is not a musty or old taste; it is as if I sucked on multiple packets of Sweet n Low or Splenda or stevia or something.
Is this normal? Did I do something wrong, or was this a bad batch?

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  1. Water tends to taste sweet after artichokes, large or small. Maybe that's the issue?

    1. There is something in artichokes that makes things eaten immediately afterward taste sweeter. You are probably unusually sensitive to it. If you want to experiment, try tasting Cynar, an alcoholic digestif made from artichoke, and see if you get the same effect.

      1. It is natural and not just with baby artichokes, it happens with all artichokes which makes choosing a wine to have with a meal featuring artichokes next to imposssible. They just make anything that comes right after them taste sweet.

        1. Not a bad batch. The chemical is called cynarin. It's in all artichokes. If you only had them before with lots of garlic, butter, etc, you may simply have not noticed the effect.

          Because of this, as already mentioned, they are one of about ten foods that are notoriously difficult to pair with wine. SF Chron had an article on these, with suggestions.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Louise

            I knew about the wine pairing problem, but this was unexpected and overwhelming. Thanks, all, for telling me I'm not crazy. I must be hyper-sensitive to this, as I had to determine the artichokes to be completely inedible. People are saying that artichokes make other things taste "sweet," but the chemical-artificial flavor that I detect is intolerable. Does anyone else avoid them for this reason?

            1. re: maestra

              Some taste it, some don't--it's one of those genetic things. And those who do taste it don't all find it overwhelming and unpleasant. Personally, I can taste the after-sweetness mildly and it doesn't bother me, I like artichokes. Probably there's a range of experience.

          2. Actually, I've heard it's one of those things that only certain people taste, not everybody. But those who do find it overwhelming. I've always avoided wine with artichokes for that reason. But that sweet aftertaste goes well with crab so I often eat artichokes and crab together with plenty of drawn butter and lemon.