According to the United States Department of Agriculture, an artichoke is a vegetable. Ideally picked when the flower bud is small and tender, the artichoke is considered a delicacy.
Found at supermarkets and farmers markets, artichokes are best prepared by steaming or boiling the green leaves of the flower bud. At the center of the bud is the artichoke heart. This part of the artichoke is most flavorful.
According to Better Homes and Gardens, artichokes are easy to grow from seed in most areas. Harvesting the flower bud before it opens by cutting the stem 1 or 2 inches below the bud base ensures the best taste.