SKU: 0016
  • Artichoke Hearts Romana Style in Olive Oil


"Romana Style" Italian Artichoke Hearts in Olive Oil

290 gram jar - Italy

I lost my heart to
an artichoke

On a bright, sunny day, as I look south to Mount Rainier, I wallow in self-pity because I cannot find the words to put down on paper about my heart's.

And I realize there are visual similarities between the hearts and Mount Rainier. With the bottom up and the leaves splayed out, they are indeed like Mount Rainier!

Now I am not talking about the throbbing thing that is in your chest (and sometimes in your throat); I am, in fact, referencing the heart of the artichoke from Puglia.

Known as Romana Style, these artichoke hearts are bathed in olive oil, wine vinegar, salt, and spices.

The "chokes" you get in a jar or tin can are almost always a variation of the Roman Style. This is where the olive oil, the wine vinegar, and the chosen spices make a difference! And the artichoke itself is also an important factor in the end result.

Now, a true confession: I really do like the artichokes in a jar thing, so much that I am willing to forget that the last big jar I got from a warehouse store was not very good, and I still manage to buy a two-pack every once in a while.

The real trouble with getting those giant jars is that the chokes are mostly hard, the leaves often un-chewable, and the oil is gross and oily... good oil is not oily.

These Roman-style from Puglia are none of those things.

They are, in fact, soft, with a wonderful, interesting flavor, and a pleasure in the mouth. To the bite, they have just the right resistance and a gentle soft crunch. The leaves and the heart have their own bite and marry well together.

Often, a recipe will have you slice them up into smaller pieces or dice them, and this makes sense. If you’re like me, cutting them up a little bit for visual reasons works too. Or just eat them whole right out of the jar when no one is looking. Like drinking from the milk carton...

The flavor is a combination of the oil and the choke itself, which is sometimes described as asparagus-like (not sure this is quite true) and with a hint of citrus.

And the oil that they come in is full of artichoke flavor. (Keep in mind I can’t seem to describe the flavor.) The oil does taste like artichoke. Perfect for a salad dressing or pasta dish.

Though I am thinking it might just be right for a hearty bowl of mixed grains of emmer and lentils topped with veggies, including these artichokes.