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Artichoke (cynara scolumus) seeds 4g
Artichoke (cynara scolumus) seeds 4gArtichoke (cynara scolumus) seeds 4g
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Artichoke (cynara scolumus) seeds 4g

This vegetable grows to 1.4-2 m (4.6-6.6 ft) tall, with arching, deeply lobed, silvery, glaucous-green leaves 50-82 cm (20-32 in) long. The flowers develop in a large head from an edible bud about 8–15 cm (3.1-5.9 in) diameter with numerous triangular scales; the individual florets are purple.

The globe artichoke (Cynara cardunculus var. scolymus)is a variety of a species of thistle cultivated as a food.

The edible portion of the plant consists of the flower buds before the flowers come into bloom. The budding artichoke flower-head is a cluster of many budding small flowers (an inflorescence) together with many bracts, on an edible base. Once the buds bloom, the structure changes to a coarse, barely edible form. Another variety of the species is the cardoon, a perennial plant native to the Mediterranean region. Both wild forms and cultivated varieties (cultivars) exist.

The naturally occurring variant of the artichoke, the cardoon (Cynara cardunculus), which is native to the Mediterranean area, has records of use as a food among the ancient Greeks and Romans. In North Africa, where it is still found in the wild state, the seeds of artichokes, probably cultivated, were found during the excavation of Roman-period Mons Claudianus in Egypt.

Today, globe artichoke cultivation is concentrated in the countries bordering the Mediterranean basin. The main European producers are Italy, Spain, and France.

In the US, large globe artichokes are frequently prepared by removing all but 5-10 mm (0.2-0.4 in) or so of the stem. To remove thorns, which may interfere with eating, around a quarter of each scale can be cut off. To cook, the artichoke is boiled or steamed. A cooked, unseasoned artichoke has a delicate flavour, reminiscent of fried eggwhite. The core of the stem tastes similar to the artichoke heart, and is edible.

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