Getting to the heart of food dislikes
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!