I have eaten plenty of artichokes in my time and mainly the ones you buy in a jar from the supermarket. I've also been served freshly cooked artichoke (not from a jar) at dinner parties but I have never cooked them myself. They are a beautiful vegetable, shaped like a flower but thorny to the touch. Yet I have always found them somewhat daunting to cook. Did you know that artichokes are an edible thistle?