It appears that the artichoke was first developed in Sicily, Italy. There is mention of the plant in Greek and Roman literature as far back as 77AD. Artichokes were cultivated by the North African Moors near Granada Spain about 800AD. The choke made to England in about 1548 but was not well received. The Spanish settlers brought artichokes to California in the 1600's. They did not become widely grown or used in California until the 1920's. "In 1922 Andrew Molera, a landowner in the Salinas Valley of Monterey County, California, just south of San Francisco, decided to lease land previously dedicated to the growing of sugar beets to farmers willing to try the â€œnewâ€� vegetable. His reasons were economicâ€”already artichokes were fetching high prices and farmers could pay Molera triple what the sugar company did for the same land. By 1929 artichokes were the third largest cash crop in the Valley The Artichoke Heart Once you've eaten all the leaves you'll see the heart or flower of the choke. By the way, the leaves closest to the heart of the choke are very tender and depending on the size and age of the choke you can frequently eat the whole cluster of leaves. Once you see a bed of fuzzy or hair like strands you've hit the heart. Scoop out the fuzz with a spoon and discard. The rest of the base of the choke is edible, referred to as the heart. This is the favorite part of the artichoke for some people.