the first time my husband and i ate artichokes, we were reminded quite vividly that it is technically a thistle. we were served in a california restaurant when i was still in grad school, and we simply began eating the leaves whole, which was like swallowing small triangles of sheet metal. we decided we did not like artichokes until many years later, when someone taught us the right way to eat them. we’ve eaten many of them successfully by now, but my favorite artichoke was that first one, as we laughed together over napa valley wine, and swallowed thistle leaves, and took another step toward falling in love.
globe artichoke (Cynara cardunculus var. scolymus)