You can't make everything from scratch

...but you can sure try!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Getting to the heart of food dislikes

Whenever someone asks me if there are foods I don't like, I draw a blank, as there are very few foods that I will out-and-out avoid. (Sometimes I even seek out foods that I don't like so that I can train my palate to appreciate them. Blue cheese is such a food. Edited to add: Apparently I'm not the only one who does this.) There are, however, some foods that I don't prefer. Until tonight, artichokes were at the top of that list.

Every time I had been exposed to artichokes, they were in canned and/or marinated form. And every time, I found them metallic, sour, and generally unpleasant. I always ate them when faced with them, but I never sought them out by, for example, ordering them on pizza.

They'd been on my mind lately, though, because I think of them as a very Italian vegetable, and I'd been hoping to have the chance to try them in various preparations while in Italy. Unfortunately, no such opportunity presented itself - the one time I encountered them on a menu, the restaurant had run out before I got there.

Then, this past Sunday, I noticed a large stack of quite nice-looking artichokes at Pete's Frootique in Halifax. And I thought to myself, "Why not just buy a couple and see what they're like at the source?" So we did.

I prepared them tonight (after doing some research) by simply slicing off the stems, slicing off the top couple of inches of the leaves, and steaming them in a couple of inches of water acidulated with half a lemon. Then we peeled off the leaves, dipping each one in butter and scraping them between our teeth, until we had worked our way down to the hearts. (Though I am given to understand that this is not how the Italians eat them!) They were great: quite sweet, with that very distinctive artichoke flavour. They struck us as a perfect alternative to offer vegetarian friends at a lobster boil, since they take about as much work to eat as a lobster does.

Score one for overcoming food dislikes!


  • At 8:12 PM, Anonymous sil said…

    Good lord! If I'd known earlier that you didn't have the artichoke love, I would have prepared some! I love the little guys now...

    (for 'junk-food' artichokes, throw some garlic powder in some mayo, mix, and dip in that - yumbo scrumbo)


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