Tricky to prepare, artichokes provide chefs with the opportunity to impress customers. Russell Brown reports
‘Farms find market for exotic veg'. That was a headline in The Independent in 1993. In fact, the thrust of the article was about British farmers selling vegetables and salads to other European countries, but it was the ‘exotic' that caught my eye. So much that was once classed as exotic is now much more commonplace.
I'm not sure, however, that globe and baby artichokes are any less exotic now in the eyes of the wider public. A good general indicator of a food's popularity is whether it is widely stocked by the major supermarkets; globe artichokes are pretty hard to get and Waitrose was the only major player I could see listing them. Of course, the situation is completely different both on the continent and for tinned or jarred artichokes.
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