Culinary travel in the West

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Celebrate artichokes in Castroville
Photo by Thomas J. Story

Celebrate artichokes in Castroville

Whether steamed, grilled, or tossed in pasta, artichokes are prized both for their delicious edible buds as well as their rugged beauty in the garden. These gorgeous vegetables were first brought stateside by Italian immigrants who planted them just south of San Francisco in the 1890s. A few decades later, they made their way down the coast to Castroville, where they thrived in California’s coastal climate—so much so that the city now produces 75 percent of the nation’s supply. To celebrate this perennial crop, Castroville holds an annual festival where artichoke lovers from around the world can savor their favorite vegetable in all the tried-and-true ways, as well as many you’ve never thought of. To enjoy ’chokes at home, try some of these tasty recipes:

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