ok, this is probably a ridiculously stupid question, but we had artichokes for dinner last night, and everytime I prepare them, I think about it, and last night I swore to myself that I would finally ask the hounds:
So, the sharp thorn-like tips on the edge of the artichoke leaf (that one trims off with one's kitchen scissors); do all varieties of artichokes have them? (how many varieties of artichoke are there, anyway?) Are they the sign of an overly mature artichoke? (the ones I ate last night were fairly big).
I ask because I've been preparing artichokes for years but it is only in the past few years that I have felt a need to trip those points (or at least that I can recall feeling a need to trim the points). Previously, (as far as I can remember) my trimming consisted merely of cutting off the stem and pulling off a very few of the outer leaves (but not all the way to the top of the choke, and last night there were sharp thorns on all but the very top few leaves). I am certain I didn't trim them with kitchen scissors when I was younger. Heck, I doubt if I even owned kitchen scissors when I was younger.
I'd hate to think I was endangering the mouths of my dinner guests all those years, but can't figure out any reason that the choke would have changed, so perhaps my sensibilities did?'
Any insight welcome!