Giudia artichokes: a Roman fried with an ancient taste

Giudia artichokes are a typical dish of Judeo-Roman cuisine.

This recipe has a very ancient origin, so much so that it is mentioned in 16th century cookbooks and memories. Giudia artichokes are basically typical romaneschi artichokes, the cimaroli, also called mammole, fried. The same are also used for the recipe of Roman artichokes.

Let’s find out more about the giudia artichokes.

Giudia artichokes: Judaic Roman cuisine

The Roman-Jewish cuisine, of which the Giudia artichokes are part, has very ancient origins. The flavors, traditions, tastes and smells have hybridized and mixed over time, up to the present day without there being more clear difference between Jewish and Roman cuisine.

The Jewish community of Rome is the oldest in Europe: in fact it has been present in the capital since the second century BC. When in 1492 Ferdinand II The Catholic expelled the Jews from Spain, many of them took refuge in the Eternal City. In 1555 Paul IV confined them to the ghetto, in the Sant’Angelo area.

Also thanks to its history, the Judaic Roman cuisine mixes Mediterranean influences with the Iberian ones. Not surprisingly, fragrant ingredients such as cinnamon, pine nuts, raisins, cloves are used a lot. There is also a preference for olive oil and fries such as in the case of giudia artichokes, pumpkin flowers in batter (stuffed with mozzarella and anchovies), fillets of cod and anchovy fillets.

The typicality of Judeo-Roman cuisine was in using poor raw materials to create tasty dishes, also respecting the religious precepts of the Torah.

Giudia artichokes: a bit of history

Some argue that the term “giudia” comes from the food that the Jewish housewives proposed at the end of Kippur, the feast of the Jewish atonement during which it is forbidden to touch the food. According to others, the giudia artichoke was one of the dishes of the Jewish Passover table.

It is still one of the cornerstones of typical Roman cuisine, a tasty dish that can easily be found in taverns and restaurants in the center of Rome, or in the ghetto area, near the Portico d’Ottavia.

Characteristic of this recipe is the use of cimaroli artichokes, also called mammole, which are those of the best quality of the Roman type, grown between Ladispoli and Civitavecchia. As already said for the Roman artichoke, this type of artichoke is round, tender and without thorns. Therefore, once cooked, they can be eaten completely, without discarding anything.

Giudia or Roman artichokes?

Clearly, both recipes are from Rome. The Roman artichoke, unlike the Giudia, is cooked slowly to make it soft, as you can read in the recipe. The one to the giudia, as we just said, is fried. In the old Roman taverns or in the ghetto, you can still find those who fry them twice: the first in low temperature oil for uniform cooking, the second in hot oil to make the leaves more crisp.

Below is our recipe for giudia artichoke.

Giudia artichokes: the recipe

Ingredients

 

4 cimaroli artichokes

Seed oil for frying

Salt to taste

 

Preparing time 10 min

Cooking time 10 min

Serves 4

 

Directions

 

First of all, to prepare the giudia artichokes, start by cleaning the breasts. Remove the final part of the stem, the hardest part, and then, using a smaller knife to remove the more leathery external part of the stem left from the cut part, at the base of the artichoke. Take away the outermost leaves until you reach those that have a lighter color at the base. To make the leaves open well, beat the artichoke on a cutting board holding it by the stem without pressing too hard not to break the leaves.

While you beat it you can help yourself with your hands to enlarge it and once the artichoke has opened like a flower you can proceed with cleaning all the others. Heat some seed oil in a saucepan, the amount sufficient so that only the head of the artichokes is immersed.

Heat it up to 170 °: for this operation, we recommend monitoring the temperature with a thermometer to ensure homogeneous cooking of the artichokes. Then dip the first artichoke. Pay attention to this frying operation, protecting yourself from splashes of hot oil.

Take the kitchen tongs and while the artichoke is frying, press the artichoke hand by hand on the bottom taking it by the stem; it will take about 6-7 minutes of cooking. In this way the flower will keep its shape.

Towards the end of cooking, turn it over on its side to allow the stem to cook and then drain it. The first is ready to be drained on fried paper; keep it up with everyone else and once the giudia artichokes are ready, don’t forget to salt them!

Enjoy your Giudia artichokes!

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