According to Greek mythology, Zeus fell in love with a beautiful woman named Cynara. Zeus was so enamored that he brought her to Mount Olympus. Angered when she elected to return to earth, Zeus turned her into the world’s first artichoke.
Artichoke is a spring-time favorite in Turkey. Beginning in April, small carts pop-up on street corners throughout the country. The purveyors of fresh artichokes skillfully remove the rough exterior to reveal the tender center. Finally, the artichoke heart is placed into a bath of lemon water to prevent browning.