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Artichoke season: when is it and how are they harvested

Artichoke season: when is it and how are they harvested

fans of the Cynara scolymusbetter known as the artichoke plant, are always aware of when the artichoke season begins so they can savor the first artichokes of the season, which are usually the best.

You know when is artichoke season in your country? In this EcologĂ­aVerde article we will see what are the months of the artichoke season and also when the artichokes are harvested in the main countries and consumption areas and how it is done.

When is the artichoke season in Spain?

In the North Hemispherethe artichoke season begins between fall and spring, depending on the specific local climate and the variety of artichoke cultivation. Autumn varieties are usually harvested in Spain around September and October, while spring varieties are harvested from the second half of February. Also, fall varieties do not grow well in cold climates, so it is more common to find spring artichoke crops further north.

In Spain, we find areas where the consumption of this plant has a long gastronomic tradition, forming part of the native cuisine. An example of this is the artichokes from Cataloniawhich are grown in areas such as El Prat, and with which the typical Catalan-style artichokes are made, which are cooked with peas, tomato and ham, among other ingredients.

There are also the Navarra artichokes, where only the Blanca de Tudela variety is grown, one that is particularly appreciated by gastronomes and gourmets. It is easy to distinguish by the small hole that its leaves form at the end, as they do not close completely.

Also in the northern hemisphere, but on the other side of the Atlantic, we find artichokes in Mexicowith an annual production of more than 2,000 tons of artichokes, grown mainly in Puebla, Michoacán and Guanajuato.

When is the artichoke season in Chile?

Chile is a large international producer of artichokes, being the seventh in the world, with 50,000 tons of annual production, of which more than half are grown in Coquimbo. Due to its geographical characteristics so different from those of Spain, practically opposite, in fact, the harvest season is very different.

The artichoke season in Chile starts in Aprilbecoming extended until November depending on the cultivated variety. It is common to use the Argentina variety for the first artichokes of the season, as it is a particularly early variety and therefore very popular.

Precisely in Argentina, the artichoke is also a crop of great importance and social value. The artichokes in Argentina they are mainly consumed fresh, with only around 10% of the production being industrialized.

Artichoke season: when is it and how are they harvested - When is the artichoke season in Chile

How artichokes are harvested

When we talk about the consumption of artichokes, what is actually harvested is not a fruit, but the flower of the plant, which is harvested before it opensgiving rise to that shape of pineapple or cocoon that we all know, in which what we consume are actually the closed bracts.

The plant does not have a large production, the apical head being the first to produce artichokes, later giving rise to a scalar harvest, in which first the main branches and then the secondary branches also produce.

The highest quality artichokes are always those at the apex of the stem, being also those of the main branches of good quality. The artichokes from the secondary branches, on the other hand, are of lower quality, and tend to be used for other products such as canned oil.

Harvesting the artichoke itself is not a complicated process at all, it is only necessary to have a sharp and clean tool that allows cut the stem 5-10 cm from the head, damaging the plant as little as possible. You have to be careful, yes, with the spikes that the artichoke plant has, being advisable to use gloves or protection.

How to preserve artichokes

Here are several tips for preserving artichokes so you can make the most of them:

  • After the harvest, it is important to learn how to properly preserve the artichokes, since their fresh consumption only suitable between 7 and 10 days after harvest, always stored in the refrigerator.
  • There are countless recipes to take advantage of the artichokes during this time, but if you want to keep them for more than 10 days, it will be necessary to freeze them or preserve them in oil or pickle.
  • For freeze artichokes what is recommended is cook them first in the desired way.
  • For your preservation in olive oil fresh artichokes are used if they are small, or cut if they are larger. Simply put the artichokes in a jar with an airtight seal and fill it to the limit with olive oil, making sure that it covers them completely. From here they can be consumed directly as an appetizer or ingredient, filling with more oil if necessary after removing some from the jar. They will last until 6 months.
  • Other forms of preservation are also possible, such as blanched or boiled artichokes.

Now that you have learned all this about the artichoke season in the northern and southern hemispheres, we recommend you read more about plants to have in the garden to grow your food:

  • When to plant tomatoes and How to plant tomatoes.
  • Plant asparagus: how and when.
  • Sow beets: when and how to do it.

If you want to read more articles similar to Artichoke season: when is it and how are they harvestedwe recommend that you enter our category .

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