21 May 2015


Letter A

I was 19 when I saw the first artichoke in my life ! I was invited to a lunch at a new friend's home, I had met in Italy during vacations with my parents and it turned out that she also lived in Brussels.

What I didn't know was that she came from a very posh family who lived in a very big house, they had a cook, a servant and a nanny.

The dining room was very impressive I had never seen such a huge one with an enormous table. The whole family was sitting around and the starter was served.

An artichoke !

I looked on my plate and found a very strange looking thing with leaves and thought how the heck should I eat that ? With fork and knife ? that was impossible. Besides my plate was a little bowl with a sauce inside.  I cross eyed around me and decided to copy the others.They pulled off the leaves dipped it in the sauce and then sucked the end of the leave. I bravely did the same.

When all the leaves were gone, I suddenly faced an obstacle. Hairs !! How could one eat that ?? I pulled out the hairs and dipped them in the sauce and tried to eat them but it really wasn't good.

The kids observed me (my friend had 4 much younger siblings) and started to giggle. The parents smiled and I wondered why. My friend finally told me that I have to cut off the hairs and only eat the heart of the artichoke because that was the best thing on the whole vegetable !

I wasn't embarrassed at all and laughed too and told them that I had been very much surprised that one eats hairs. And indeed the heart was very tasty and together with the sauce was really good.

Now years later when I see my friend we still laugh about my eating of the first artichoke in my life !

Jenny Matlock
more participants at Jenny Matlock's Alphabet Thursday


Jo said...

I love artichokes (Grant hates them) and my friend often serves them as a starter to a posh dinner. Yes, the heart is the best! was yours a garlicky sauce? That's how my friend serves it. Yum!

Anonymous said...

Oh yum, artichokes! I guess I didn't think about all of those things when I ate my first one:)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Gattina .. love artichokes - I certainly started eating them at home when I was a teenager ... I'm not sure how I learnt how to eat them. We used to grow them ... and they are delicious things ...

Funny story - cheers Hilary

Cathy said...

I wouldn't know that either since contact with fresh artichoke has been very sparse in my life. Love it on pizza at restaurants though!

Andrew said...

Thanks for the tip should I ever be served artichoke.

Betty said...

Yes, you definitely don't want to eat the hairy part. I love artichokes, but it's just very difficult to find decent ones where I live. For a while there was a California grocery store chain in the Houston area. They had the best artichokes, but since they left I can rarely find a decent one. They're always old and the leaves are spread open. I always look for fresh ones and on a rare occasion I can find a half way decent one.

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

That's a great story! I have a similar one about a friend of mine who ate edamame with me for the first time and tried to eat the pods!

Mara said...

The first time I had artichoke was in Italy as well and like you I had no idea how to eat it. But the family I was staying with was very helpful and told me exactly what to do. I think I remember it being tasty, but it has been a long time ago now.

Noodle Cat said...

My grandmother used to make stuffed artichokes...yummmm!
Please come on by our updated post and help a child smile...today is the final day!

Noodle and crew

A Lady's Life said...

I never could cook artichokes. I love them from a jar though but mine are never that tender.
I can't fathom the idea of taking all the leaves off and be left with almost nothing but the heart.Then how do you make stuffed artichokes?
Such a complicated dish.

Loree said...

They are strange things to eat. Here we stuff them with a special mixture and then steam them and they are really very good.

Jim said...

Hi Gattina ~~ They are a wonderful fruit. Make good dips too. The thing you eat is a flower, though should be wild as the plant is a thistle.

We didn't have them when I was growing up as they are all imported from the Mediterranean countries.

Google them and you'll find lots of interesting facts. I wished I had used that word for my "A" post.

Ann, Chen Jie Xue 陈洁雪 said...

I had my first artichoke when I was 21. I was visiting San Francisco from my studies in Canada. My born in Borneo Aunt bought one, cooked it, and showed me how to eat it peeling the layers one by one dipping it in a dressing. I must say, I wasn't impressed, Not much to eat. But I thank my aunty for this experience.

GranthamLynn said...

Great story. My daughter loves them. I can't figure out 'why all the work'.LOL. But perfect for letter A. Smiles.

Michelle aka Naila Moon said...

I like the hearts in salads.
It is good you can laugh at this.


Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I didn't grow up in a posh family at all,but we ate artichokes every Spring . It is the only veg I haven't been able to teach Bill to like (he grew up eating almost none), but I still fix them once or twice a year for myself. Our kids loved them. One difference from your posh friends is, when I serve them they're not the appetizer, they're the main course! (I might serve a platter of cold meat and tomatoes or deviled eggs or something like that for protein, but nothing much else.)

Annesphamily said...

There is an art to eating an artichoke! Great story. Have a nice weekend and I did appreciate your share.

NatureFootstep said...

lol, I like them. I dip them in citrus adn butter. :) But I´m glad I ate the first one at home. :)

Anonymous said...

You know. I've still never had an artichoke. At least I'll know what to do if I encounter one now.

Jenny said...

What an adorable story.

While I'm not an artichoke fan, I can picture your face bravely trying to eat those sauce dipped hairs!

What a fun and funny link for the letter A.