Artichoke grows to 1.5–2 m tall, with arching, deeply lobed, silvery glaucous-green leaves 50–82 cm long. The flowers develop in a large head from an edible bud about 8–15 cm diameter with numerous triangular scales; the individual florets are purple. The edible portion of the buds consists primarily of the fleshy lower portions of the involucral bracts and the base, known as the "heart"; the mass of immature florets in the center of the bud is called the "choke". These are inedible in older larger flowers.

In the US, large globe artichokes are most frequently prepared for cooking by removing all but 5–10 mm or so of the stem, and (optionally) cutting away about a quarter of each scale with scissors. This removes the thorns on some varieties that can interfere with handling the leaves when eating. Then, the artichoke is boiled or steamed until tender. If boiling, salt can be added to the water, if desired. It may be preferable not to cover the pot while the artichokes are boiled, so that the acids will boil out into the air.

Covered, and particularly cut artichokes can turn brown due to the acids and chlorophyll oxidation. If not cooked immediately, placing them in water lightly acidulated with vinegar or lemon juice prevents the discoloration. Leaves are often removed and eaten one at a time, sometimes dipped in hollandaise, vinegar, butter, mayonnaise, aioli, lemon juice or other sauces. The remaining heart is then eaten, after removal of the inedible "choke".

Artichoke Nutrition Facts: Calories, Carbs, and Health Benefits

Artichoke is 84.94% water, 10.51% carbohydrates, 3.27% protein, 5.4% dietary fiber, 1.13% ash and 0.15% fat. One medium artichoke will give you with 13.453 grams of carbohydrates. It is equal to 10.35 percent of the 130 grams of carbohydrates you need on a daily basis. That same in an amount measuring 100 grams (3.5 Oz), artichoke provides 197 kilojoules (47 kilocalories) of energy and is a modest source of Vitamin B9 (folate, DFE) (17% DV), Vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) (16.44% DV), and Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) (15.6% DV). This means that if you add artichoke in your diet it will help your body to lower the possibility of birth defects in the baby (so pregnant women or women who are planning, usually take folic acid), synthesize of red blood cells and even DNA and RNA, create more red blood cells and will be effective against preeclampsia probabilities in pregnant womenhomocysteine levels which lowers the risk of kidney diseaseage-related hearing loss. In addition it contains a considerable amount of Copper attaining 25.67% of the Daily Value in a 100 g (3.5 Oz).