Golossary: Carciofi alla Giudia (Jewish Style Artichokes)

A recipe born of necessity in the Roman Jewish ghetto has since become an edible symbol of the eternal city. No dish better conveys the fact that an artichoke is not actually a vegetable, but rather a thistle.

The giant globe artichokes which proliferate in Lazio become a thing of golden beauty, first flattened so the leaves splay outwards, and then fried until crisp and a dark amber color, they appear on the plate like a flower, preserved for posterity.

But they taste so good, they won’t last. The leaves are crispy, like an extra thin potato chip, while the inside is soft – as all fried food should be. It is the essence of artichoke, and while artichoke proliferate in other Italian regions, for whatever reason, this beauty has stayed close to home. It is rarely seen outside of Rome.

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