• Artichoke Hearts Romana Style in Olive Oil
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"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 hearts.

And I realized there are visual similarities to the heart and Mount Rainier. With the bottom up and the leaves splayed out it is indeed like Mount Rainier!

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

Known as the Romana Style Artichokes. Artichoke Heart; a heart babied in olive oil, wine vinegar, salt and spices.

Almost always the "chokes" you get in the jar or tin can are a variation of these. 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 artichoke 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, wonderful flavor, interesting and pretty much a pleasure in the mouth.

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

To the bite it is soft, with just the right resistance, a gentle soft crunch. The leaves and the heart have their own bite and marry well together.

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

And the oil that they come in is, well 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 jut be right for a hearty bowl of mixed grains of emmer and lentils topped with veggies including these artichokes.