The prestige of this artichoke is born in the orchard where the farmers are great connoisseurs of the crop. They take care of every detail, have a lot of experience and wisdom that they have inherited generation after generation. All this is combined with the research, improvements, and innovations developed by the technicians. The work around the artichoke is thorough. Both planting and harvesting are done manually, one by one, and farmers are always watching the evolution of the crop to give it the best treatment. Once artichokes reach their optimum moment, they are collected and moved from the orchard to the various auctions and companies in the Vega Baja.
Almoradí is one of the most important producing areas in the lower Vega of Spain, its artichokes are recognized for their quality and it leads domestic sales abroad. The area of artichokes in the region of La Vega Baja exceeds two thousand hectares that produces about 25,000 tons of artichokes per campaign (between November and May). La Vega Baja is the main export zone in Spain. About 50% of domestic artichoke sales abroad are concentrated in this region.
The main countries include France and Italy and, to a lesser extent, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. In addition, its canning industry is a national and international benchmark.
Food full of healing properties
There are very different the properties attributed to artichoke, most of which are linked to the functioning of the liver and the gallbladder, to favor digestion and the elimination of toxins through the urine. Therefore, the inclusion of this vegetable in the diet or its consumption as a medicinal plant brings great health benefits at different levels.
- It contains cynarine, which is a substance that stimulates the secretion of bile, which favors the digestion of fats. But watch out! The fat you are ingesting at that time, while you are eating the artichokes, not the fat you have stored in your body.
- It is rich in fibers, which helps reduce blood glucose while protecting against constipation.
- It also has phytosterols, which help control blood cholesterol levels.
- It has flavonoids (quercetin and rutin), which protect against heart disease and promote antioxidant action.
- It has inulin, which is a carbohydrate that is slowly metabolized in the body into fructose instead of glucose. Fructose is a sugar that can be assimilated without the need for insulin, making the artichoke a particularly favorable food for people with diabetes.
- In addition, artichoke contains phosphorus, iron, magnesium, calcium, and potassium as well as various vitamins, including vitamin B1, vitamin C, and niacin.
Multiple options in the kitchen
The options in the kitchen can be endless. Here are some options.
- Steamed Artichokes to
steam them place them, already clean, in the steamer. Cover and let it cook for approximately 25 minutes. You can add aromatic herbs to give them another flavor, such as peppermint leaves, a rosemary twig or thyme.
- How to make artichokes in the oven
you can put a drizzle of oil on them and add the herbs you prefer, along with a pinch of salt. Cook them at 200ºC and take them out when they are tender and golden (just over half an hour).
- Boiled artichokes
Soak them in boiling water; it takes about 15 minutes for them to be tender. Just like when we steam them, you can add aromatic herbs that give them a special touch.
- Fried Artichokes
Artichokes can absorb a lot of oil if we make them fried, so it is better to make them with little oil, in a non-stick pan, over medium-low heat and covered. They are very simple to prepare, just flip them every 5-6 minutes.
- Use artichokes in other food preparations
we can add the already clean artichokes directly to our stews, paellas and other rice dishes, soups, etc. provided the pieces are not too large they will be ready with the same time of cooking as, for example, a carrot.