Artichoke has much more to it than shown by chefs; it's one of the great messy starters. The whole thing should have the whiskers removed from the bottom of the beast and the outermost leaves removed; boiled in salted water and then served with a small bowl or ramikin of Normandy salted butter; the dinner then peels the leaves one by one from the beast, dipping the base of the leave into the butter and stripping the gorgeous titbit of flesh away. When you have used up the leaves which repay their dividend, then remove the rest of the useless flaccid small leaves and the wretched and aptly named choke, poor the remainder of the butter over the exposed and delectable heart and scoff! You will end up with butter all over your chops and a huge pile of discarded, stripped leaves in the middle of the table/
As for Jerusalem artichokes... if you've ever had to spend a couple of days digging them out of someone's garden then you would not regard them with anything other than horror. Double-digging in a wet and cold Spring to a depth of 2' over an entire garden and I'm pretty sure I did not get all of them; but after two days I was so tired and cold, I couldn't dig any further down. Ifor, the bloke whose garden it was kept saying what good topsoil it was...
Island hopping with P and O cruises: Madeira
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