Artichokes that have gone bad can be identified by a lack of squeak when two of its leaves are pressed against each other. Another indicator for freshness is to see if the tips have browned over with age. Older artichokes have hard outer leaves and are difficult to open.
A good test for fresh artichokes is to see if a squeak can be heard when the leaves are pressed against each other. Good artichokes will have deep green globe colors, a heavier weight as well as a tight leaf formation. The best season for artichokes is between March and May.