Health
benefits

Cardoon is a source of:

  • Fiber (good digestion, filling)

Cardoon also contains:

  • Vitamin B6
  • Potassium
  • Calcium

When is the right
time to eat it?

In the summer and the start of autumn

Cardoon is in season from August to October.

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

Vegetable patch
or urban balcony?

Cardoon does well in humus-rich soil in sunny conditions.

To learn everything you need to know about growing cardoon, read the page on growing advice

Choosing and
storing

Choosing the best cardoon:

  • Choose the thorniest cardoon and check that the tips aren’t hollow — both of these are signs of freshness.

Storing cardoon:

  • Cardoon stays fresh for 2 to 3 days maximum stored in the vegetable drawer in the refrigerator.
  • Wrap it in cloth or thick paper to keep the tips white.
  • The store cardoon for longer before cooking, blanch for a few minutes and store for 2 to 3 days longer. As for any fresh produce, the sooner you cook cardoon, the more of its nutritional and organoleptic value will be conserved.
  • Canned cardoon is tasty and practical.
  • Freezing does not suit cardoon.

Tips and
tricks

How to prepare cardoon

String cardoons when you cut them — it’s easier than doing it afterwards and fewer nutrients are lost.

Sprinkle lemon juice on the ribs of the leaves so they don’t blacken after chopping.

Cardoon goes well with

Cardoon is famous in central Europe in regions near the Alps, where it is usually reserved for gourmet cuisine. It tastes bitter with a hint of sweetness. The ribs can be eaten boiled, fried in meat juices, or served au gratin with a white sauce.

It can also be eaten as part of a gratin, tagine, soup, or as a side dish with white meats. Cardoons with bone marrow are a Lyonnais specialty.

Young shoots are eaten like artichoke hearts in Mediterranean European countries.

Did you know? Cardoon sap is used to make the bitter Italian liqueur ‘Amaro’.

Can everyone
eat them?

cardon-tajine-bonduelle

Young children

From the age of six months in small quantities, as the high fiber content could irritate your baby’s digestion.

No matter what age, familiarity is the key factor for liking the taste of foods, including vegetables. The more we are exposed to a type of food, the more we like it, even if it is only eaten in small quantities each time. A food has to be eaten at least eight times before you can decide whether you like it or not.

And everyone else

Those with sensitive digestion may experience faster bowel transit time because of its high fiber content.

See plenty of other tips for encouraging children to eat vegetables

Where do they come from?
Origins and varieties

Origins: Cardoon was an important vegetable in ancient times — traces have been discovered from the fourth century BCE. The Greeks, Romans, and Persians adopted the vegetable and it became their vegetable of choice. The buds of the young plants were eaten, as they still are in these regions. It was grown intensively in Europe in the Middle Ages.

It is still popular in Italy, Spain, Argentina, Australia, and France, where it is grown, but it is not very well known in North America.

Cardoon is also popular in Libya, Morocco, and Croatia, where it is known as ‘chardonnette’ or ‘chardonnerette’.

Our favorite
recipes

Recipes

Omelette with cardoons

Plats Cardon Serves: 3 Difficulty: Easy Preparation time: 20 min Cooking time: 15 min 500 g car...

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