A: Hi Lou,
Many thanks for your great question. Certainly, during the off-season it can be hard to find great artichokes. My first tip is to stick with Ocean Mist Farms and you won't go far wrong.
Now let me explain the shapes of artichokes.
Although artichokes are available year round, the main artichoke season is now through July, and in the fall. During that season you'll find plenitful suply of the wonderful green globe artichoke. These are recognizeable by the pointy top, large thorns, and massive hearts.
Many growers, other than Ocean Mist Farms, will use seeded varieties that are simply not good. They're recognzeable from heart shaped leaves that turn in on the top. And while they are large and pretty to look at when you cut them open, there is very little heart.
Ocean Mist Farms tries its best to use the green globe variety for most of the year. During times where the season does not cooperate, Ocean Mist has proprietary artichoke varieties that resemble the characteristics of the green globe variety. Allowing us, the consumers, to enjoy great tasting (and, of course, eating) artichokes all year round.
Be sure to check out the amazing recipes
on the Ocean Mist Farms website, if you haven't already. The videos are great. And if you haven't tried the easy bake artichoke
, its simple to prepare and a great tasting way to cook an artichoke.