The globe artichoke is a member of the Composite family, closely related to the thistle. The part we eat is from the immature flower bud. If the buds or "globes" are not harvested, six inch bluish thistle-like flower heads develop. The edible portion of the "globe" is composed of the fleshy bases of the flower bracts and the receptacle to which the bracts are attached, known as the "heart".
The Jerusalem Artichoke is not from the Holy Land and is really a member of the sunflower family, native to North America. Their Indian name was "sun roots" and the pilgrims included them as a staple food.


Although artichokes appear hardy, they are quite perishable; store them in the refrigerator, in a plastic bag, for no more than four or five days. To keep them moist, sprinkle a few drops of water into the bag and then close the top, but do not rinse or wash the vegetables (or cut or trim them) before storing.
Whole cooked artichokes should be wrapped in plastic wrap or placed in plastic bags; they will keep in the refrigerator for four to five days.