Roman Artichokes in (You Guessed It) Rome

Jewish artichoke in Rome

It is a truth universally acknowledged that the Italians know their way around the kitchen.

Pretty much every meal I’ve had in Italy, including the simplest things…tomatoes and pasta tossed with olive oil or even a piece of fruit bought off a local vendor…has been spectacular.

There are a lot of reasons for this and one of them is that the Italians are fiercely seasonal. They eat veggies and fruits when they are ripe and just out of the ground…and they celebrate each season’s produce accordingly.

Which is why in Rome in the late winter and early spring, you’ll see artichokes (carciofi) popping up on menus all around town.

There are two main preparations you’ll see and a year ago I headed to Rome in the late winter and set out to find and try them myself with my local blogger friend, Liz.

The first, pictured just above, is the Roman artichoke (or Carciofi alla Romana), which is soft and tender and stuffed with herbs. It also happens to be my personal favorite.

The second, pictured at the top of this post, is the Jewish artichoke (or Carciofi alla giudia). This artichoke is bolder–deep fried and tasting like crispy potato chips.

Both are well worth trying.

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