Leah -- I actually remember tasting my first artichoke, a long time ago! My Mom and my Aunt Helen made stuffed artichoke leaves at holiday time (Aunt Helen would come up from the city on the train from Grand Central to our little town every year, which was part of what the made the time especially special!) The stuffing was a great breadcrumb/garlic/butter/etc. paste that they coated the inside of the leaves with, then baked the artichoke -- and as soon as they cooled just a bit we'd pluck the leaves, put them in our mouths, and scrape off the stuffing and meaty part of the leaf with our teeth -- yum! Still a nice memory after many years!
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