National Artichoke Heart Day

Close-up shot of a delicious artichoke heart, drizzled with tangy sauce, surrounded by fresh green vegetables..
National artichoke heart day illustration

Get ready to go arti-choke on some deliciousness because it's National Artichoke Heart Day! Prepare your taste buds for a tangy and tender adventure as we dive into the fascinating world of artichoke hearts. Whether you're a fan of these edible thistles or have yet to discover their charms, this day is your chance to celebrate the unique and delectable artichoke heart.

When is Artichoke Heart Day?

It's national artichoke heart day on the 16th March.

The Legends of the Artichoke Heart

Legend has it that the artichoke heart was first discovered by a mischievous prankster who found joy in plucking leaves off an innocent artichoke. Little did this jester know that beneath those inedible leaves lay a hidden treasure—the heart of the artichoke. Since that fateful day, the artichoke heart has been coveted by food enthusiasts around the globe.

The artichoke itself has a long and noble history, dating back to ancient Greece and Rome. It was believed to have mythical properties, providing strength and power to those who consumed it. While we can't promise you superhuman abilities, we can guarantee that the artichoke heart will make your taste buds dance with joy.

Artichoke Hearts and the Internet

The internet is ablaze with excitement every year on March 16th, as artichoke enthusiasts unite to celebrate National Artichoke Heart Day. From mouthwatering recipes to funny memes, the online world is buzzing with artichoke-related content.

Did you know that the most mentions of National Artichoke Heart Day were recorded on March 16, 2015? Clearly, artichoke hearts hold a special place in the hearts (and stomachs) of people all over the internet.

How to Celebrate

Celebrating National Artichoke Heart Day is as easy as whipping up a delicious artichoke dish. Whether you prefer them steamed, grilled, or baked, artichoke hearts can be incorporated into a variety of recipes. Enjoy them as a savory appetizer, toss them into a salad, or even use them as a pizza topping!

For those feeling adventurous, why not try your hand at making homemade artichoke heart dip? It's a crowd-pleasing favorite that will have your loved ones begging for more.

History behind the term 'Artichoke Heart'

13th century

The Mediterranean Mystery

The term 'artichoke heart' finds its origins in the 13th century when artichokes were introduced to Europe from the Mediterranean region. The edible part of the artichoke, known as the heart, captivated people with its unique flavor and tender texture. It quickly gained popularity in culinary circles, inspiring a term that would become synonymous with gastronomic delight.


The Artichoke Arrives in Europe

In the year 1530, the artichoke, a vegetable native to the Mediterranean region, was introduced to Europe by Catherine de' Medici, a member of the Italian Medici family. Catherine, who later became the queen consort of France, brought the artichoke with her when she married King Henry II. This vibrant green vegetable quickly gained popularity among the European aristocracy, thanks to Catherine's influence.


The Introduction of Artichoke to France

The history of the term 'artichoke heart' begins in the year 1530 when the artichoke plant was introduced to France by Catherine de' Medici, an Italian noblewoman who married King Henry II of France. Catherine brought many Italian culinary traditions to the French court, including the cultivation and consumption of artichokes. At this time, the term 'artichoke' referred to the entire vegetable, including the fleshy base and the inner leaves.

17th Century

The Distinction of the Edible Portion

In the 17th century, the French started distinguishing the edible portion of the artichoke, specifically the tender fleshy base, as the 'artichoke heart.' This part of the vegetable became highly regarded for its delicate, nutty flavor and tender texture. The term 'artichoke heart' became popular among culinary circles and was used to refer specifically to this prized edible center.

15th century

Art and the Artichoke

During the 15th century, artichokes started appearing in various artistic works, most notably in Italian paintings. The rich symbolism and intricate layers of the artichoke fascinated artists, who often depicted the vegetable with its heart prominently featured. This artistic portrayal further solidified the association between the term 'artichoke heart' and the essence of beauty and creativity.

19th Century

The Origin of 'Artichoke Heart'

During the 19th century, the term 'artichoke heart' emerged to specifically refer to the tender, fleshy center of the artichoke, which is considered the most desirable and flavorful part of the vegetable. This term was likely coined to highlight the significance and deliciousness of the innermost leaves and choke of the artichoke, which need to be carefully removed before consumption.

19th Century

Artichoke Hearts in Gourmet Cooking

During the 19th century, artichoke hearts gained significant recognition in gourmet cooking. The delicate flavor and unique texture of the artichoke heart made it a sought-after ingredient in French cuisine. Renowned French chefs incorporated artichoke hearts into various recipes, elevating their status in the culinary world. This increased popularity further solidified the term 'artichoke heart' as the specific designation for the flavorful and tender center of the artichoke.

16th century

The Renaissance of Cuisine

In the 16th century, Italian cuisine experienced a period of rebirth and innovation known as the Renaissance. During this time, renowned Italian chefs began using artichoke hearts in their culinary creations, appreciating the delicate, tender center as a culinary gem. As these dishes gained popularity, the term 'artichoke heart' became firmly entrenched in the vocabulary of fine dining.


Culinary Use of Artichoke Hearts

In the year 1907, a cookbook titled 'The Young Housewife's Cook Book' by B. F. Daub published a recipe titled 'Artichoke Hearts' that called for the use of the tender artichoke hearts in a savory dish. This publication further popularized the term 'artichoke heart' and solidified its association with the delectable edible portion of the artichoke.

19th century

Crossing the Atlantic

In the 19th century, Italian immigrants brought the artichoke with them as they crossed the Atlantic to the United States. The popularity of artichokes grew in American cuisine, and the term 'artichoke heart' became a common descriptor in cookbooks and menus. The distinct flavor and texture of the artichoke heart captured the taste buds of the American public, embedding itself further into culinary traditions.


Canned Artichoke Hearts

It was in the year 1949 that the canning industry began commercially producing and selling canned artichoke hearts. This marked a significant milestone as it made artichoke hearts more accessible to a wider audience, beyond those who had access to fresh artichokes. Canned artichoke hearts continue to be a popular ingredient in various culinary recipes worldwide.

20th Century

Artichoke Hearts in American Cuisine

In the 20th century, artichoke hearts found their way into American cuisine. Immigrants from Italy and Mediterranean countries brought their culinary traditions to the United States, including a love for artichokes. As American palates expanded, artichoke hearts became a favored ingredient in salads, pasta dishes, and various other recipes. Today, 'artichoke heart' is a widely recognized term in the culinary world, referring to the succulent and flavorful center of the artichoke.

21st century

Culinary Renaissance

In recent years, there has been a resurgence of interest in culinary traditions and a focus on fresh, whole ingredients. The artichoke, with its prized heart, has become a symbol of this culinary renaissance. Chefs and food enthusiasts continue to explore the versatility of artichoke hearts, using them in various dishes and elevating their status as a gourmet ingredient.

Present Day

Artichoke Hearts in Modern Cuisine

Today, artichoke hearts are a versatile and sought-after ingredient in various cuisines. They are commonly used in salads, dips, pasta dishes, pizzas, and even as a topping for gourmet flatbreads. The tender, flavorful nature of the artichoke heart makes it a favorite among chefs and home cooks alike, adding a unique taste and texture to a wide range of recipes.

Did you know?

Did you know that artichokes are actually flower buds? If left to grow, they would bloom into beautiful purple thistle-like flowers.


food fun loved ones

First identified

16th March 2015

Most mentioned on

16th March 2015

Total mentions


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