An impressive-looking green-purple globe-shaped vegetable covered in layers of leaves, that is actually an edible type of thistle. Globe artichokes require a little effort in preparation and cooking, however the results are well worth it and they are often considered to be a luxury. A hairy choke is surrounded by the inner leaves which are not eaten but are discarded to reveal the deliciously nutty edible part of the artichoke the heart. If the artichokes are young and fresh the stem can also be eaten. Choose artichokes with slightly closed stiff leaves and a short stalk.