Anton Steeman

January 30, 2014

3 Min Read
"Raccolto di Sardegna" – Microwavable Artichokes Kissed by the Sun

Faced with a hectic life style and their budgets tightening, consumers are more and more seeking convenience and simplicity to backup their home cooking as eating out is a luxury they are skipping for the moment. Although these home-based activities help stretch their budgets, now and again everyone craves a little treat, indulging in small, affordable luxury for a special occasion. As a consequence this leads to a desire for more savoury exotics inspired by the general trend of ethnic dining. Artichokes are such an exotic.

80349-Raccolto_20di_20Sardegna.jpgArtichokes are a delicacy, but difficult to prepare and therefore not very popular in the common household. Either you buy artichokes green and fight to get the hard outer leaves and thorns off the plant to stay with the heart which really is the delicious part of the plant or you buy hearts in tins of which the autoclave sterilisation process have destroyed most of the delicate taste.

Wikipedia tells us that “The Globe Artichoke (Cynara scolymus) is a perennial thistle. It grows to 1.5-2 m tall, with arching, deeply lobed, silvery glaucous-green leaves. The flowers develop in a large head from an edible bud about 8–15 cm diameter with numerous triangular scales; the individual florets are purple. The edible portion of the buds consists primarily of the fleshy lower portions of the involucral bracts and the base, known as the “heart”; the mass of inedible immature florets in the centre of the bud are called the “choke.”

Delicious but hard to handle. The Italian cooperative Santa Margherita came up with a simple as well as brilliant solution. Microwaving artichokes? Nobody ever tried it before. But Santa Margherita did prepare them for cooking in the microwave and launched this novelty under the brand ‘Raccolto di Sardegna’: four ready-to-use artichokes, packaged to be cooked in a microwave.

Raccolto di Sardegna has the flavour of the sun of Sardinia slightly allayed by the sea breezes that fill the air with salt. Only here, on the plains of Santa Margherita di Pula in the south of Sardinia, the combination of sky, water and land, tilted by generations of farmers, result in extraordinary climatic conditions that make every artichoke a much desired delicacy with a rare and inimitable flavour.
The Santa Margherita Artichoke is a variety known as “Carciofo Spinoso Sardo”, because it grows on the Italian island Sardinia and it shows some thorns. Its taste is so intense and pleasant that it is locally consumed even uncooked.

80349-Raccolto_20di_20Sardegna_202.jpgThe special packaging presented by Santa Margherita contains four fresh ready-to-eat artichokes. Santa Margherita took care of the product’s selection, cutting and washing. Only the “hearts” of these exceptional artichokes are left, after having removed the external leaves and all the thorns, freshly packed ready for cooking.
The cooking takes only a few steps as the packaging (without its plastic film) can be placed in the microwave straight-away with a cooking time of only 3 min. after which the artichokes are ready to be served. Microwave artichokes have a shelf-life of 15 days.

They Claim to be Sustainable, Degradable and even Compostable
As most consumers expect packaging to provide an added ‘feel eco-good factor’ by minimizing environmental impacts, many a company in these days, in its effort  to fulfil this ‘consumer-dream’,  introduces a packaging claiming sustainability, degradability and even compostability without using the 100% sustainable natural raw materials. They add degradable or compostable additives to the basic, fossil fuel based, material used. Aside from the potential negative impacts on recycling, And that is, according to Napcor, for the time being, a dubious claim and misleading in all its facets and smells like a monkey business, eye washing the consumer. ……. Read the full article

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