The Artichoke is technically a flower bud that has not yet bloomed. If you didn't grow up eating them, they are almost intimidating. It is a great starter for a dinner party as you all have to get involved as it is such an odd thing to eat.

Ancient Greeks and Romans considered Artichokes a delicacy and an aphrodisiac. Zeus, changed his lover Cynara into an Artichoke as a punishment for deceiving him.

In Ancient Greece it was thought that if you ate Artichokes you would secure the birth of boys.

Artichokes are one of the oldest foods known to humans.  We think they are absolutely beautiful and it seems fitting that Marilyn Monroe was named the first official California Artichoke Queen in 1949.

The Artichoke is part of the Thistle family and there are over 100 varieties. The Dutch brought them to England where they grew in Henry the VIII's garden. We find them so beautiful that displaying them in a bowl on the table is as good as a vase of flowers.

We have created an artichoke bowl especially for this...

Why do we love them so much? Because nature is so clever. The Artichoke is so pleasing to the eye due to it following the Fibonacci Sequence. Beautifully explained in this article.

The Fibonacci sequence is a series of numbers where a number is found by adding up the two numbers before it. Starting with 0 and 1, the sequence goes 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, and so forth. Written as a rule, the expression is xn = xn-1 + xn-2. For those of you interested in the Fibonacci Sequence, here is another great article.

The average Artichoke weighs 130 grams. 47 calories for each 100g. We follow Nigella Lawson's delightful Instagram @nigellalawson for daily recipe ideas and inspiration.