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Lyon Artichokes

Jul 05, 2018

The Lyon Artichoke is the king of all artichoke varieties, since they are the biggest. The Lyon also happens to have the biggest heart. Literally.

Appearance & Flavor
They are a commanding size; each Lyon can weigh at least one pound. Their tapered, thorny leaves are rounded and tightly wrapped around its center. This variety has the largest artichoke heart out of all of them, and they are sweet with a nutty, butter-like finish. To pick the best artichoke, find one with the leaves still tightly packed and  don't let a few brown spots scare you off.

Ways to Enjoy
The heart of the Lyon variety is its prized possession. Make a prized salad out of it. You can steam, braise, grill, and roast them. As for the hearts, they are great for sauces, soups, and purees, or top salads and pizza with some slices. Preparing an artichoke may look daunting with the spines and all, but you'll learn the tips and tricks with this short video.

Availability & Origin
During the spring and then again in the fall, these artichokes are at  their best. California is the largest producer by a landslide; 99 percent of artichokes in the US are grown there.

Store them unwashed in a plastic bag for up to a week in the fridge. Do not wash them until you are ready to prepare them. If you see the leaves beginning to spread away from the center, that's a sign that you should eat it as soon as possible.

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