Written by Adam Fletcher

The artichoke was first developed in Sicily and was known to bothrepparttar Greeks andrepparttar 149648 Romans. In 77 ADrepparttar 149649 Roman naturalist Pliny calledrepparttar 149650 choke one of earth's monstrosities, but many continued to eat them. Historical accounts show that wealthy Romans enjoyed artichokes prepared in honey and vinegar, seasoned with cumin, so that this treat would be available year round.

It was not untilrepparttar 149651 early twentieth century that artichokes were grown inrepparttar 149652 United States. All artichokes commercially grown inrepparttar 149653 United States are grown in California and Castroville, California, claims to berepparttar 149654 "Artichoke Capital ofrepparttar 149655 World." California even has an Artichoke Queen —repparttar 149656 most famous queen was Marilyn Monroe in 1947. She inspired more people to eat artichokes in that year reign than any year before or after.

Artichokes are actually a flower bud - if allowed to flower, blossoms measure up to seven inches in diameter and are a violet-blue color. Artichokes are a close relative torepparttar 149657 thistle.

Varieties Green Globe: year round and peaks in spring. Desert Globe: available from December through March and July to September. Big Heart: year round, with a lull in April. Imperial Star: year round and peaks in spring.

Selection High-quality artichokes are usually compact and heavy for their size. Squeezed, a fresh artichoke will make a squeak. The thickness of each stalk should correspond torepparttar 149658 size ofrepparttar 149659 artichoke. Thin stalks signal dehydration, so look for stalks that are firm without “give.”

Storage Artichokes remain fairly constant in appearance for weeks, but flavor is adversely affected fromrepparttar 149660 moment they are cut fromrepparttar 149661 stalk. For maximum taste and tenderness, cook as soon as possible. Do not stock up on artichokes. Refrigerate unwashed, in a plastic bag, for up to 1 week.

Preparation Artichokes should be washed under cold running water. Pull offrepparttar 149662 lower petals and cutrepparttar 149663 stems to one inch or less. Cutrepparttar 149664 top quarter of each artichoke and snip offrepparttar 149665 sharp tips. Artichokes turn brown very quickly once they are cut. To preserverepparttar 149666 green color, one may dip in lemon water. Hardware

Gourmet Sauces, Rubs and Marinades - Give Your BBQ a Gourmet Kick

Written by Gene Grohan

Many individuals agree thatrepparttar sauce on barbecued meat is likerepparttar 149614 icing on a cake. Gourmet barbecue sauces, rubs and marinades are commonly served on (or onrepparttar 149615 side of)repparttar 149616 finished dish. Barbecue sauces are used to add flavor and sweetenrepparttar 149617 meat for a better tasting meal. The types of barbecue sauces available throughoutrepparttar 149618 world are endless. Barbecue sauces, rubs and marinades arerepparttar 149619 three basic methods of seasoning and each brings its own unique element intorepparttar 149620 barbecuing experience.

Barbecue Sauces

Many individuals and families swear by barbecue sauce and some find it impossible to prepare meat without it. Popular types of BBQ sauce depend highly onrepparttar 149621 region, since many different areas have an opinion all their own. Barbecue sauces can are usually based with vinegar, pepper, tomato or mustard and can offer either a sweet or spicy taste torepparttar 149622 dish. Some barbecue sauces also use alcohol such as bourbon or zinfandel to add flavor. Most BBQ sauces use a sweetener such as white sugar, brown sugar, molasses or maple syrup to add sweetness torepparttar 149623 dish. Sugar burns easily and as a result, it is best to addrepparttar 149624 barbecue sauces duringrepparttar 149625 last stage of grilling.

Barbecue Rubs

Barbecue rubs are available in two forms, wet and dry. A dry rub is often a combination of dry spices and herbs which are spread overrepparttar 149626 meat and rubbed intorepparttar 149627 surface. Wet rubs are simply dry rubs with a liquid (usually oil) which binds them together. When cooking for longer periods of time, wet rubs provide moisture torepparttar 149628 meat sorepparttar 149629 meat does not become burnt or tough. Wet rubs are usually used on dishes such as fish or poultry since they do not have as much taste, whereas dry rubs are better suited for steak and pork. Most rubs contain paprika, black pepper, ground chili and garlic powder.

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