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Spain expects 4 million ton summer artichoke crop

Spain’s May-November summer harvest of artichokes is underway, with an output of 4 million tons anticipated.

Artichokes are not just a winter vegetable, they can now be eaten year-round in Spain, the country’s artichoke association, Alcachofa de España, wants to remind consumers.

Spain’s May-November summer harvest of artichokes is underway, with an output of 4 million tons anticipated.

In a press release, the association said the province of Granada – particularly the Hortoventas cooperative – is the epicentre of artichoke production and distribution in Spain over summer.

“The start of this season marks the availability of Spanish artichoke 365 days a year and the fact it is no longer a vegetable eaten only in winter.”

The mild-flavoured Imperial variety is grown in hotter parts of the Mediterranean and Granada and is characterized by its rounded shape and violet-tinged leaves, it said.

One of several ceremonies marking the start of the summer artichoke season

Alcachofa de España president Antonio Galindo said it is important to remind Spanish consumers of the year-round availability of this vegetable so they can benefit from its “diuretic properties and ability to reduce cholesterol and prevent fat accumulation in the liver.”

SAT Hortoventas president Juan Antonio Guerrero said the artichoke is highly nutritious and an essential element of the Mediterranean diet. The cooperative, which is based in Llano de Zafarraya, has 120 farmers growing artichoke.

Alcachofa de España, which promotes consumption of Spanish artichoke, has more than 24 partners spread across various production zones in Spain: Tudela, in Navarra; Vega Baja del Segura, in Alicante; Valle del Guadalentín and Campo de Cartagena in the Murcia region; and Zafarraya, in Granada and Almeria.