One day a lightning bolt struck, and in a whirlwind of inspiration some folks found themselves imagining a new world.
What if artichoke hearts could be harvested year round? What if their testy inner leaves and wild hairs could be soothed and smoothed down? What if everyone could connect over their love of the heart?
First, they began growing artichokes in new locations, on new continents and in a new hemisphere. In South America and Asia, in addition to Spain. Lo and behold, the flower opened up in unexpected ways. The local conditions had a positive influence and along with good, thoughtful care the artichoke emerged happy everywhere, blossoming into its best at different stages of growth. In some situations it became demur, preferring to be tiny and small—smaller than had ever been seen. In others, it chose to be evenly tender even when it grew big. As new degrees of tenderness took hold, the choke also began to surrender its spiny tresses.
|Suddenly there were hearts in new and amazing sizes that felt astonishingly good all the way down to the tooth.
With the flower responding to its new origins with such variation and vigor, the folks tending it couldn’t help but feel the beat of their own hearts. Amidst palpitations, they set out to develop processing techniques that would respect and highlight the new traits, to ensure consistency and outstanding flavor while celebrating the widest possible range of the artichoke’s new-found creative character.
Then came an opportunity to open dialogue between producers and buyers, to support their respective wishes and needs, and to bring the hearts to market with efficiency and value year round. All parties were eager to meet one another, to become partners, so together they could grow strong and thrive.
Today, the flavor, texture and variety of artichokes are beyond anything ever dreamed. Even the re-invented marinade sends people to the moon. People of all ages and all walks of life are discovering new ways to love them every day. In dishes of all kinds, from sandwich spreads and salads to quesadillas and stir-fries.
Cynara’s artichoke spark is catching on and kitchens everywhere are alight
Chef John’s culinary adventures are making artichoke magic. Exploring the world’s cuisines he conjures fun interpretations of old standards and invents dishes that are altogether new. His playfulness is opening the hearts of home chefs to greater heights of creativity and experimentation.