How to Select an Artichoke


This week, I’m planning on making artichokes for dinner. But before I hit the produce department, I wanted to get Garry, one of our produce experts advice on how to pick the perfect artichoke.

Garry gave me the following tips:

1. Is it firm?  You don’t want to squeeze it and have it be soft.  This means it is low on water content and could be old.  A firm artichoke is indication of a fresh artichoke.

2. If it has some white scaling on it, this is a good thing.  The white indicates it was exposed to some, not too much cold weather, which is supposed to enhance its flavor.

3. Sometimes the tips of the leaves may be darker or even black.  This is okay.  This just indicates the artichoke has been exposed to freezing temperatures, but the dark, or black portion of the leaf is not the edible portion, so the artichoke is still good.

4. If you bend the leaf and it snaps or breaks off easily, this is a sign of high moisture content and freshness.  If the leaf just bends, it is an indication it is old.