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The artichoke is a cultivated variety of the cardoon and the thistle, that was developed in 15th-century Italy.
It soon spread to other Mediterranean countries and is very popular in Greece. Its arrival in local markets signals the start of spring .
Young artichokes can be eaten raw. The hearts are thinly sliced into salads, and the vegetable is also cooked in casseroles with other spring vegetables or spring Iamb.
Cut artichokes discolour rapidly, so you need to begin by preparing a bowl of water.