Artichokes have a wonderfully delicious mild-nutty flavor. The primary artichoke season is in early Spring, followed by a second, smaller season in fall-winter. Select artichokes that are heavy for their size. Look for tightly closed, olive green leaves and moist, healthy stems. If the leaves are open, they may not be as fresh. A few purple streaks on the leaves are fine, but brown leaves are not. Artichokes contain cynarin, a compound that stimulates taste buds, so they’re thought to make everything else they are eaten with taste better.