March 16 is National Artichoke Heart Day
Interesting Food Facts about Artichoke
- The artichoke is the unopened “flower” bloom of a thistle plant.
- A medium sized globe artichoke is fat free and has only 25 calories.
- 3% of the world’s herbal tea consumption is dried artichoke tea.
- 40% of the world’s artichokes are canned or jarred.
- California is known as the artichoke capital of the world. They supply nearly 100% of North American fresh artichokes.
The first mention of artichokes in literature was around 40-70 AD in a book on the medicinal uses of plants called The Greek Herbal of Dioscorides.
Artichoke was first introduced the artichoke to France in the 16th century by King Henry II’s wife, Catherine de Medici. She said, “If one of us had eaten artichokes, we would have been pointed out on the street. Today young women are more forward than pages at the court.”
Today’s Food History
- 1915 Absinthe is outlawed in France and several other countries. Absinthe was a licorice/anise flavored liqueur that contained wormwood, and was 132 proof. The high alcohol content, and the presence of the toxic oil thujone from the wormwood, often causing hallucinations, convulsions, and severe mental problems amongst hard core absinthe drinkers. Absinthe is now legal in the European Union.
- 1975 RIP T-Bone Walker, blues guitarist
- 1990 A Third Michelin star was awarded to Restaurant Louis XV in the Hotel de Paris. Chef Alain Ducasse, 33, is the youngest chef ever to have his restaurant receive 3 stars.