Italian artichokes, Mediterranean properties
Producers of Italian artichokes take first place when it comes to the gradual increase in global surface-area given over to the cultivation of the artichoke (thanks to excellent properties). This vegetable and related recipes are considered a part of Italian heritage; just think of the famous artichokes alla romana (Roman style) or the paintings of Arcimboldo (such as “Estate” and “Vertumnus“).
According to the FAO, in 2005 delicious Italian artichokes accounted for more than 30% of worldwide production, followed by their Spanish cousins. A wide range of varieties are grown throughout the land, the most well-known being: romanesco, campagnano, spinoso sardo, and Tuscan and Catanian violetto.
It is no wonder that Italian artichokes are so popular in Italy, as they have been cultivated since Etruscan times and the Romans also used them in recipes, bringing out the flavour with honey and vinegar. Artichoke recipes like “alla romana” and the equally renowned “alla giudia“, developed in and around the capital.
The reason for its popularity among the Italian population can be found in its versatility as an ingredient and in artichoke properties: it contains very few calories and is a rich source of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron and potassium.