Although the Allotments have a clear sense of spring tentatively skipping down the plots, seed heads from last year’s crops fascinate, particularly the Globe Artichoke.
Homer mentions the artichoke as a garden plant in the 8th century BC.
The Dutch gardeners introduced artichokes to England, where they grew in Henry VIII's garden at Newhall (Essex) in 1530. And the French introduced this magnificent species to the USA.
Recipes for these delightful members of the thistle family are legion. The idea of stuffed artichoke appeals: A common Italian stuffing uses a mixture of bread crumbs, garlic, oregano, parsley, grated cheese, and prosciutto or sausage. The idea of introducing pork products with any culinary procedure is to be encouraged.
For those more mindful about diet artichokes can also be made into an herbal tea. Artichoke tea is produced as a commercial product in the Da Lat region of Vietnam.