The artichoke is one of the crops par excellence. It is consumed since ancient times in wide regions of mild climates and is native to specifically our area, the western Mediterranean. Spain is in third place according to the main world artichoke producers, behind Italy and Egypt only, countries with a great tradition in its cultivation too.
The artichoke plant, at first sight and during the initial development until flowering, does not have great attractiveness. However, its large leaves and its dull green tone are overshadowed by heads appearance, the bracts formation and the final flowers generation, which will transform to artichokes. Since artichokes are just that, unripe flowers.
Among the most relevant characteristics of the artichoke, its high water, fiber and inulin content stand out, directly related to a positive effect on digestion, fat reduction and cholesterol control. Its vitamin and iron content are also noteworthy, turning the artichoke an authentic natural medicine.
At present, the main ignorance about the artichoke is in its varieties, since there are not just a few. Although it is true that, in Spain the queen of artichokes varieties is Blanca de Tudela, the hybrid varieties of artichoke are gaining more and more relevance, especially in the last two or three production seasons.
These new varieties arrive to increase production and as a claim to open doors in other export markets and help boost consumption. They are not looking for a substitution of the traditional variety, but working as a complement to the established production.
They are varieties that have a great adaptation to the terrain and the climate of our region, which makes them rustic crops that endure poor and worn soils. Their greater conservation also stands out, since they have a long postharvest life, which allows, not only their maintenance in the national market for a longer time, but also their greater export capacity.
In addition to this, an outstanding factor appears for its export. The new varieties have a big assortment of caliber, highlighting two interesting issues from this point. On the one hand, in Spain, we are used to the traditional size, a small-medium sized artichoke, slightly globose, from which it seems difficult to get out.
However, the appearance of these new varieties, both smaller and larger, brings a much greater availability, which can be greatly favored at a national level if we are willing to try “new flavors”.
On the other hand, in other countries as in Spain, such as Italy or France, there are also preferences for shapes and sizes. This is why having different varieties can rises the level of export and foreign markets can multiply and develop.
The artichoke is achieving historical maximums of production in recent seasons, and despite its widespread consumption, it is somewhat socially forgotten and there is a great ignorance of its true benefits and properties. This is why it is essential to know, not only this, but its situation in the current market, with the birth of new varieties and production and sale horizons.
Taking advantage of the presentation of one of our products, from CRICKET we bring the artichoke during its natural season, which runs from November to April. Furthermore, this aforementioned development of new varieties is able to offer artichoke the whole year, in the most impeccable quality of course; hardly achievable in other regions or countries and with a freshness and flavor worthy of being used in our kitchen.