A name shared by three unrelated plants: the globe artichoke, Jerusalem artichoke and Chinese (or Japanese) artichoke. Considered the true artichoke, the globe artichoke is cultivated mainly in California's mid-coastal region. It is the bud of a large plant from the thistle family and has tough, petal shaped leaves. They are available year-round, with the peak season March through May. Buy deep green, heavy for their size artichokes with a tight leaf formation.
A tuber, also called sunchoke, with a very firm flesh and a flavor reminiscent of globe artichokes. These are used as a vegetable, in soups, or cooked and served in salads.