April 28th—Fearlessly Archived—Still a fun read; price & availability may have changed.
Technically, the artichoke is a thistle, meaning it has sharp, prickly thorns. Botanists believe these thorns developed as a defense mechanism against herbivorous animals - you might get a little prickly, too, if animals spent their day trying to eat you. Those thorns do lead one to wonder… what prompted humans to first attempt to eat this thorny treat? Close relatives of the modern artichoke, grown in the wild and cultivated, were enjoyed by ancient Greeks and Romans, so to whichever brave soul was ingenious enough to figure out how to eat them, we owe you a gargantuan debt of gastronomic gratitude.
We're selling packs of four Heirloom Artichokes - direct descendants of a specific globe artichoke variety first brought to Castroville, California in the early 1920’s by Italian immigrant farmers. The 'chokes harvested today are grown from the same rootstock that's been passed down through generations for more than 90 years. They take longer to grow than varieties grown from seed, and that longer growing period endows them with a thicker heart and meatier petals than other varieties. You can steam, boil, bake, or grill them. Serve them with warmed Clarified Butter or another favorite dipping sauce. There are enough in the pack to make it easy to share, and our price of $2.29* for each 4-pack will leave you feeling tingly, not prickly. You'll find them in our fresh produce section.
*Ounces, price and availability may vary by region. Currently Trader Joe's Artichokes are $2.29 in our West Coast and Texas stores and $2.99 in our East Coast, Midwest and Southeast stores.