I've always purchased smaller/conical artichokes and they've been tender and delicious.
At the market I found very large round//flatter artichokes and cooked them along with the first (more conical) ones. The larger rounder/flat artichokes were tough & leathery by comparison (even though a fork went into the stem easily when steamed).
For those who are "artichoke savvy", are these different varietals or just old/tough artichokes? And, can "leathery" artichokes be made soft if cooked...a second time, or are they hopeless?