Theophrastus in the third century BC, noted the consumption of a wild thistle, both its leaf ribs and its “receptacle” the artichoke’s bottom. Established in Andalusia, the Arabs copious irrigation assured more and bigger buds. It was under this Arab cultivation that the artichoke and the cardoon diverged into two different plants. Andalusia was close to Sicily, where the artichoke and cardoon next turned up and from where they spread northward into the rest of Italy and farther up into the Provence and Languedoc regions of France.
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