General Discussion 33

First Artichokes Grown in U.S.?

opinionatedchef | Jan 11, 201207:41 PM

This duscussion started on a home cooking thread and i thought it belonged here. These posts were between myself and hazelhurst. hope youall will jump in. Food History!

I find it remarkable that your father (if I have the relations right) never had artichokes in New Orleans. They were very popular prior to WWII and most came from Plaquemines Parish in the 1920's and before. I know my mother was eating omelettes in NOLA in the 1930s..she often ordered them at the old line restaurants.
By hazelhurst on Jan 9, 2012 04:26 PM
hazel, that's so interesting.i didn't realize artichokes were grown in LA.; i always thought they were just a CA crop back then. Maybe because my dad's family was very poor? he told us about going to school w/ his lunch of a baguette hollowed out and 'filled' w/ caro syrup. So nutritional.....

The omelets don't surprise me at all, w/ the Fr heritage there.
By opinionatedchef on Jan 9, 2012 07:24 PM
I was always told that Plaquemines Parish was the first place in the New World to grow them. The farms died out a little before WW II but I used to get some from a guy across from Pointe a la Hache years ago. The vegetable truck by the Seminary on Carrolton (a/k/a "The Priest Factory") claimed that his were from down there and that was int he 1970's/80's.

By hazelhurst about 6 hours ago
my dad was born in NOLA in1922. wouldn't it be fascinating to find a local artichoke tradition in the local food there from the early 20th c.? sounds like a great research article for the food section of the NO paper. artichokes etouffee?! here's what i found after a bit of googling. can't find anything that claims 'the very FIRST artichokes grown in america..." but maybe further research....

The Dutch introduced artichokes to England, where they grew in Henry VIII's garden at Newhall in 1530. They were brought to the United States in the 19th century, to Louisiana by French immigrants and to California by Spanish immigrants. The name has originated from the Arabic al-kharshof, through a northern Italian dialect word, articiocco.[8] Revised March 2011. ------------------------------------------------
Native to the Mediterranean region, artichokes were brought to the United States in the 1800s and first grown in Louisiana by French immigrants and in California by the Spanish. Today artichokes are grown almost exclusively in California, which accounts for more than 99 percent of national production.

hey hazel! i have just found a usda 1920 report about artichokes in the Pla..... county!

By opinionatedchef about 5 hours ago

Artichoke etouffee would be a helluva stretch since the Cajun world never really got into New Orleans until after WW II and etouffee itself did not come out of the swamps until about 1940. But it is worth a try. Kinda fusion cooking in a way.

There is a crawfish Yvonne that has artichokes in it. Was invented in the 1970's.

That, as the kids used to say, is "way cool." I've always wanted to grow my own artichokes and now I know some of the blight I must confront. Thanks!
By hazelhurst
so hazel, i don't understand . what does this mean?
<the Cajun world never really got into New Orleans until after WW II and etouffee itself did not come out of the swamps until about 1940.>

that cajun food didn't come into NO until post WWII? but my dad grew up eating red beans and rice, and gumbo.? is there a reference book you're using? i'd enjoy reading more of this history.

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