XXII Festival of the Benicarlo Artichoke
The XXII fiesta of the artichoke in Benicarlo on the Costa Azahar is already in full swing, it started on the 9th of January and lasts until the 1st of March. Apart from various cultural events there are two main gastronomic parts:
From 9-25 of January was the 8th ‘Jornadas de Pinxos de la Alcachofa’ – various varieties of bite sized ‘pinchos’ featuring the Benicarlo artichoke were being served in numerous bars and cafés of Benicarlo.
The 20th Gastronomic Days of the Benicarlo Artichoke ‘Jornadas Gastronómicas de la Alcachofa de Benicarló’ are taking place from 25 January until 1 March, when whole menus of Benicarlo restaurants are inspired by the artichoke, from starters to deserts, offering many culinary delights and surprises.
Around 20 restaurants are taking part, prices of the tasting menus vary from around 20 to 40 Euros. You can find details of participating restaurants and their menus here.
In 1998 the artichoke of Benicarlo was granted the prestigious and protected ‘Designation of Origin’ status, recognised by the EU in 2003. The taste and texture of this artichoke is said to be unique, and it is of a very soft texture, so you can normally eat it without discarding the ‘furry’ growth above the heart.
Easy Recipe – Roasted Benicarlo Artichokes
Here an idea for an alternative to the usual boiled artichoke, equally as simple and absolutely delicious:
-Put artichoke on a bit of aluminium foil, large enough for wrapping it up later.
-Cut a garlic clove into slices and slide them between artichoke leaves.
-Sprinkle with a bit of salt and drizzle some olive oil over it.
-Wrap in the foil.
-Into preheated oven, around 220C for 45-55 minutes depending on size.
-Serve with some mayonnaise for dipping.