The etiquette rules on how to serve and eat artichokes. Tips to be the ideal host or the perfect guest.
What artichokes etiquette is
Artichokes etiquette is the set of rules to properly serve and eat artichokes. Such rules help avoid behaviors that can disrespect your hosts or guests, or make you look unpolite.
If you are hosting, follow artichokes etiquette to serve them to your guests appropriately.
If you are a guest, respect artichokes etiquette rules to properly eat and enjoy it.
What you should know about artichokes
Artichokes are a vegetable. Their color can be green, purple-green, or white. Artichokes are cultivated in Mediterranean countries such as Italy or Spain, as well as in California.
Etiquette rules to serve and eat artichokes
1) How to store artichokes
Eat artichokes as soon as possible.
You can store raw unwashed artichokes in the fridge. Wrap them in plastic. Do not keep them longer than 4-5 days.
In the freezer, artichokes can last for up to 10 months.
2) How to clean artichokes
Clean artichokes under cold running water. Pull the leaves apart to wash away dirt and impurities. Then, rest the artichokes for a few minutes in a bowl of cold water and some lemon juice.
3) How to cook artichokes
Artichokes are usually cooked. It is not common to eat them raw.
You can cook artichokes in several ways. Boil, steam, bake, roast, grill, or fry.
Add artichoke hearts to pasta, pizza, or sandwiches. Alternatively, use artichoke hearts as an ingredient for savory tarts, quiches, or flans.
In Italy, artichokes “alla romana” are deep-fried whole. In Spain, artichokes are sometimes added as an ingredient to paella or tortilla.
A popular way to cook artichokes is to stuff and bake them. There are many stuffed artichokes recipes. The ingredients depend mostly on the region and its tradition.
4) How to serve & present artichokes
You can serve artichokes cold or hot.
Artichokes can be an appetizer, a course, a stuffing or topping, or a side dish.
If you serve artichokes whole, accompany them with a dip. Olive oil, a vinaigrette, melted butter, or a sauce such as mayonnaise or hollandaise. Alternatively, serve whole artichokes stuffed.
5) Food and wine to pair artichokes with
Artichokes pair well with garlic, onions, shallots, and mushrooms. They can be an accompaniment for lamb, chicken, eggs, or some fish and seafood.
Pair artichokes with white wine. Ideally a dry, acidic wine such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio.
6) How to eat artichokes
You should eat whole artichokes leaf by leaf. Start from the outer leaves. Then, work your way to the heart. You can eat leaves with your fingers. Hold each leaf by its tip. Do not eat the tip of the leaf. Instead, leave it on a side of your plate.
Always eat the heart of the artichoke with a fork and knife. Even if you ate the leaves with your fingers, use cutlery to eat the hearts.
The fibrous upper part of each leaf is usually discarded. The heart is eaten when the inedible choke has been peeled away from the base and discarded. The thin leaves covering the choke are also edible.
Artichokes etiquette: the worst mistakes
The Rude Index identifies and ranks negative behaviors.
A high score (8-10) means that the behavior has the potential to trigger a conflict with others. A medium score (4-7) means that the behavior risks making you look inelegant and unsophisticated. More about the Rude Index and its methodology here.
Avoid the worst artichokes etiquette mistakes.
- 9/10. Serving spoiled artichokes.
- 7/10. Eating artichoke hearts with your fingers.
- 4/10. Pairing artichokes with the wrong flavors.
Additional information for properly serving artichokes
How many calories per serving?
Counting calories is important to stay healthy and to correctly plan a menu.
Artichokes contain about 20 calories per 100 grams. One large, whole artichoke contains 25 calories. One person usually eats one or two whole artichokes. Thus, consider between 25 and 50 calories per serving.
How to buy the best artichokes
A crucial factor in artichokes etiquette is to serve the best product possible to your guests.
Season and availability
The seasons for artichokes are spring and early fall.
Choose the best
Good artichokes must be firm. Avoid mushy or limp artichokes.
Alternatives to artichokes
Artichokes have a very distinctive flavor and texture. There is no appropriate substitute for them.
Do artichokes need to be cooked? You can eat artichokes raw. However, due to their hard texture, it is best to cook them first.
How do you eat stuffed artichokes? Always eat stuffed artichokes with a fork and knife. Do not eat the stuffing alone. Instead, cut small morsels that contain some stuffing and some artichoke.
What can I do with artichoke leftovers? You can keep cooked artichokes in the refrigerator for several days. However, it is best to eat them within a week. Always check their look and smell before eating them.