Artichoke | Enginar

Artichoke is native to the Mediterranean. The flowering vegetable is a regional delicacy that has been consumed since ancient Rome.

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.

Street Vendors

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.


Artichoke is served baked, boiled, and roasted in Turkey. Steamed artichoke hearts topped with carrots, peas, potatoes and thyme are a common spring meze.

Quick Guide

In Turkish, artichoke is called enginar.

Artichoke is widely cultivated throughout the Aegean and Mediterranean regions of the Turkey.

Fresh artichoke can be found starting in November and is available until early summer. The peak season is March through May.