S & L Produce, Inc.

Artichokes

RETAIL

Refrigerate in layers, no more than three or four deep. For best appearance, place stem down in a single layer on crushed ice.

When not on ice, artichoke stems should be placed outward to facilitate handling and give customers protection from any points. If ends are blackened and dry, the stems can be shortened to create a more attractive appearance. Shortening the stem also refreshes the artichoke and allows water to travel into the bud when placed in ice or water.

Artichokes are subject to darkening, wilting, and molding. Remove any damaged outer leaves and rework the display frequently.

Cross-merchandise artichokes by placing them between salad items, fresh lemons, bottled dips, and dressings.

Promotion

Concerns about preparation may be a hindrance to many consumers. Use signs to suggest consumers microwave the artichoke for six to eight minutes or until a petal near the center pulls out easily. Provide take-home literature and display signs offering basic preparation tips and recipes.

Use point-of-sale materials to inform consumers that "water-kissed" artichokes are not bad quality and are very flavorful.

Demonstrations and sampling will help educate consumers. Use dips when providing artichoke samples.

FOOD SERVICE

Artichokes should be washed under cold running water. Pull off lower petals and cut stems to one inch or less. Cut off top quarter of each artichoke. Snip off tips of petals and dip in acidified water to preserve green color.

Artichokes complement seafood dishes such as jambalaya and paella. They also work well in poultry, beef, pork, or lamb stews.

Small artichokes are better for appetizers, pickling, stews, and casseroles. Medium-sized ones are good for salads and large ones for stuffing.

HANDLING

- Artichokes are subject to darkening, wilting, and molding. Check the base end of the bud for signs of worm injury. Although it may appear negligible on the outside, the path may run deeply into the heart and cause extensive waste.
- Serious decoloration often indications damage from bruises or a lack of freshness. The bruises may appear as dark off-color areas at the site of the injury and mold or decay may also develop.
- Over-mature product often is woody and may be undesirably strong-flavored.
- Hard-tipped leaf scales that are opening or spreading signal over-maturity.
- Center formations may be fuzzy and dark pink or purple in color. Artichokes should be selected according to season.

Spring
Look for rounded, heavy, compact, and plump artichokes with good green color and tight leaves.

Summer/Fall
Artichokes will be flared and conical in shape. Some fall artichokes may have white to bronze outer petals because they have been touched by a light frost. The artichokes should be somewhat heavy for their size.

Winter
Select artichokes that are heavy, compact, and plump. Some blistering may be caused by a light frost, which causes a white to bronze appearance.

NUTRITION

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the following nutrient content descriptors for artichokes: fat-free, saturated fat-free, low in sodium, cholesterol-free, low-calorie, a good source of fiber, a good source of vitamin C, a good source of folate, and a good source of magnesium.

Nutrition

Serving Size:
1 artichoke (56g)

Calories

25

Total Fat

0g (%)

Saturated Fat

0g (%)

Cholesterol

0mg (%)

Sodium

75mg (3%)

Total Carbs

6g (2%)

Dietary Fiber

3g (12%)

Sugars

1g

Protein

2g (4%)

Vitamin A

0%

Vitamin C

10%

Calcium

2%

Iron

4%

For reference only.
Percent values based on
2,000-calorie diet.