Archive for May, 2010

Up and Coming Artichokes

May 27th, 2010

Dear Readers of The Artichoke Blog

If you are regular visitors to this site you may know I have been documenting the past artichoke season in Italy and have been traveling around Italy on The Artichoke Blog mission trying to post regularly to this blog.

There are still many posts to come about the 2009/2010 season but at the moment I am having a holiday in Turkey and cannot be regular with my updates  for the next few weeks.

So here are just a few things to look forward to when I return from Turkey around mid June, 2010.

Another great meal and recipe from Mario Trattoria in Florence.

The Fried Artichoke Celebration of Uzzano in Tuscany

The beautiful town of Brisighella puts on a feast of its own thorny artichoke.

The famous street artichokes of Palermo in Sicily.

A sneak peak into a festival held in the hinterland town of Montelupone in Le Marche.

Putting the gloves on for these wild spiny Sardinian suckers.

The most adventurous savoury artichoke sorbet and gelato ever.

I hope that is enough to get you back here and keep checking out the latest posts on my obsession with artichokes in Italy.

Back soon.

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Riotorto Artichoke Festival

May 19th, 2010

Sagra del Carciofo Morellino, Riotorto May 1st and 2nd, 2010


Just outside the non-descript Tuscan town of Riotorto, in a public pine forest called La Pineta, is the biggest hoedown for artichokes on the Italian peninsula. At edition number 41 it is one of the oldest artichoke celebrations anywhere in the world. It will usually be held over a week and always reach critical mass on the weekend closest to the holiday May 1st. Riotorto produces it’s own variety of the Morellino artichoke, which is the most common of Tuscan artichokes.

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Chiusure in spring.

May 15th, 2010

Chiusure in Piazza in Primavera 24th – 25th April, 2010

How can such a tiny town put on such a big party?  The roads leading into the Tuscan town of Chiusure MAP were lined with parked cars of springtime party goers, which made finding a spot to park, a little adventure and finished with a nice walk into town amongst olive groves. Over a weekend in late April the town, of only seven hundred inhabitants, holds an annual springtime festival called Chiusure in Piazza in Primavera (Chiusure in the Square in Spring) and it really is a great get together. It was the first time we had seen an actual groovy affair attended by lots of down to earth, young, mature hipsters and not dominated by families trying to find a way to keep their children entertained.

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Velletri Artichokes alla Matticella

May 8th, 2010

Carciofi alla Matticella, Velletri, 24th-25th April, 2010


On the outskirts of greater Rome and not too far from the wine growing district of Frascati are the hills known as Colli Albani. This is the home of the amazingly beautiful lakes of Lago Albano, Lago Nemi and the historic town of Velletri that hosts a unique little feast, over one weekend in late April, called Festa del Carciofo alla Matticella, which unlike other sagre or feasts, celebrates only one particular artichoke recipe, alla Matticella. We were lucky to witness this one as the rain had just cleared to make way for the outdoor cooking to proceed. A great night for the visitors to Velletri and certainly one I would love to revisit.

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Feast of Paestum Artichokes

May 5th, 2010

Festa del Carciofo di Paestum 22nd-25th April, 2010

Paestum is an ancient Greek coastal town about 80km south of Naples with a surrounding area partially devoted to the cultivation of their Carciofo di Paestum (Paestum Artichokes). Most of the fields we occasionally saw as we drove into town were full of plump purple buds floating above a mass of green foliage.

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Carciofo Bianco di Pertosa

May 1st, 2010

The White Artichoke of Pertosa


Who said old-fashioned hospitality was dead? In Pertosa Alice and I were treated to a day of the most enthusiastic generosity you could imagine.  We were greeted by the young and energetic Giuseppe Lupo who, among many things, acts as the local councilor for agriculture in his hometown.

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