The artichoke is a vegetable belonging to the family of Compositae. The edible portion of the plant consists of the flower buds and their stems when harvested before the flowers come into bloom.
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Artichoke's head is the flower of the plant before its ripening; what we commonly call “leaves” are actually “bracts”. The real artichoke's leaves are those attached to its stem, but they are usually taken off before the selling. It is common to eat the upper part of the stem. The artichoke is low-calorie, it is rich in mineral (potassium, calcium, phosphorus and iron), while it does not contain a lot of vitamins. It has, with the other fruits and vegetable, an important place in the Mediterranean diet and the food pyramid which well represents the Italian diet style. The artichoke is a vegetable widely cultivated in several Italian regions.