Which area of Spain is it typical?
- Autonomous region: Valencia
The artichokes grown in Benicarló are very famous because of their excellent quality, not just in our market but also in neighbouring countries like France, Italy and even Great Britain. Because of this, in 1998 the Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Ministry of the Valencian regional government granted it the Designation of Origin "Benicarló Artichoke".
Artichokes have been grown by Mediterranean farmers for more than 2000 years. The introduction of this crop into the north of Castelló and Baix Maestrat was encouraged largely by the climatic conditions which favour the good development of this product. Its Spanish name, "alcachofa" is a word of Arab origin meaning "spine of the earth" alluding to its appearance, which is similar to a thistle. The artichoke is a green vegetable turning purple, similar to a pineapple in shape and appearance. The one from Benicarló is also fine, with a soft texture on the palate and is outstanding for resisting blackening after it is cut; this factor is highly valued commercially.
- Type of product: Vegetables
- Season: The harvest lasts from November to June. It can be eaten preserved all year round.
- Origin: The production area covers the northern county of Castelló, Baix Maestrat, and its cultivation area is specific to Benicarló, Cálig, Peñíscola and Vinarós.
- Where to buy: Benicarló artichokes can be bought in most specialised shops and greengrocers in the Valencian Community.
- Varieties: The variety cultivated is exclusively the 'Tudela White' (as in Navarre).
- Energy: Low
- Cholesterol: 0
- Comments: Rich in potassium and iron.