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How To Tell If An Artichoke Is Bad: Quick Tips For Choosing & Storing Fresh Artichokes

How To Tell If An Artichoke Is Bad: Quick Tips For Choosing & Storing Fresh Artichokes

Artichokes contain abundant fiber, antioxidants, and various nutrients. But for you to reap the good benefits, learning how to tell if an artichoke is bad is also necessary.

If you’ve never chosen an artichoke before, it might be tricky to determine whether this green, spiky vegetable is still fresh or might be past its prime.

  1. The leaves are brown or black. Fresh artichoke leaves are bright green and tightly closed. If the leaves are brown or black, it is a sign that the artichoke is no longer fresh.
  2. The artichoke is soft or squishy. A fresh artichoke should be firm to the touch. If it feels soft or squishy, it is past its prime.
  3. The artichoke has a slimy texture. If the artichoke feels slimy or slippery to the touch, it is no longer good to eat.
  4. The artichoke has a strong odor. Fresh artichokes have a mild, earthy smell. If the artichoke has a strong odor, it is not fresh.
  5. The artichoke is wilted. A fresh artichoke should be perky and upright. If it is wilted, it is not fresh.
  6. The artichoke has bruises or cuts. Bruises and cuts can allow bacteria to enter the artichoke, making it unsafe to eat.
  7. The artichoke is moldy. Mold is a sign of spoilage. If you see mold on an artichoke, do not eat it.
  8. The artichoke is old. The expiration date on the artichoke label is a good indicator of its freshness. If the artichoke is past its expiration date, it is best to discard it.
  9. The artichoke has been stored improperly. Artichokes should be stored in a cool, dark place. If they have been stored improperly, they may spoil more quickly.
  10. You are not sure if it is good. If you are not sure if an artichoke is good, it is always best to err on the side of caution and discard it.

In this guide, you will learn how to tell if an artichoke is bad or still good to eat, which ones to avoid, and some frequently asked questions about the quality of artichokes. Make sure to check out the tips that I have included here!

Find out what an artichoke tastes like.

How Long Do Artichokes Last?

At room temperature, they usually last for about 2 to 3 days. If you store them in the fridge, they are safe to consume for about a week.

Okay, you have brought home new artichokes, and now you are wondering how long they will last. Here is the thing—artichokes can be picky about their surroundings, and depending on where they are stored, their shelf life also varies.

It is important to note that artichokes like to be stored in cool, but not super cold areas. If your fridge is too chilly, they could get a little frosty and weird-looking, while leaving them out on the counter where it is warmer than usual might cause them to ripen too soon.

How to Pick Out An Artichoke

Pick artichokes with tightly-packed leaves, a bright green, with stem still attached that feel heavy for its size. 

Imagine you are at the store, surrounded by artichokes, and you are trying to pick the best one. Here’s a checklist that you can refer to when choosing which artichokes to pick out:

Size and weight

Go for the artichokes that feel heavy for their size. The heavier it is, the better the quality because it means it still has lots of moisture. The leaves should still be tightly packed and close together.

Color Check

You may have known or guessed this already, but a good artichoke will also have this beautiful, deep, vibrant green color. If you see an artichoke with purple, separated leaves among green artichokes, it’s probably way past its prime and won’t be good to eat.

Squeaky Squeeze

This step would require you to give your artichoke a gentle squeeze. If it feels firm and solid, you are on the right track. There should be a squeak when you press it lightly, from the turgid leaves rubbing against each other, a good sign they still hold a lot of moisture.

If it is squishy, then you should put it back and move on to check the others.

Here’s a great video from Jessica Gavin on picking out and storing artichokes for long-lasting freshness.

Signs of a Fresh Artichoke

Leaves

The leaves should be tightly packed—almost like the leaves are hugging the artichoke.

Stems

If the stem is still attached, it should look moist and green. A dry, woody stem is a sign that it is already past its prime. Keep the stem on the artichoke until you are ready to cook or use it in recipes.

Petals

When you spread open the petals a bit, they should be plump and firm, not wilted or dried up.

Signs of a Bad Artichoke

Artichokes can also lose their sparkle. Yes, it is a sad moment, but you can spare your taste buds from disappointment by knowing the signs of an artichoke that has seen better days. Here are the main signs for how to tell if an artichoke is bad:

Brown or yellow color

If the artichoke has turned brown, dark purple, or yellow, I would rather have you avoid it. Stick to green—it is the color of freshness!

Wilted leaves

Dry, wilted, or slimy leaves are common signs that your artichoke is bad. A fresh artichoke would never have this issue.

Bad Smell

When it smells sour, moldy, or a bit like “vegetable peels in the trash”, then the artichokes are better off discarded. A good artichoke should smell like, well, nothing much at all.

See our info below for even more signs to tell if your artichoke went bad and is probably not good to eat anymore.

Tips On Keeping Artichokes From Going Bad

Now that you are a certified artichoke detective, here are some tips to help you maintain the quality of your artichokes:

Fridge setup

Store artichokes in the fridge, preferably in the crisper drawer where it is humid and cool. Remember, they like it cool, but not too cold.

Container storage

Don’t wash your artichokes before storing them. Wait until you are ready to use them.

Selecting the appropriate storage container for your artichokes is essential for keeping them fresh and away from potential damage. Go for containers that grant sufficient room for the artichokes without cramping them together. A breathable produce storage bag is a recommended choice.

If you’re using a zipper baggie, be sure to place the artichokes stem-side in first, but don’t close the bag. You want to keep some moisture but not too much. Instead, choose containers that enable air circulation, like mesh bags or containers with holes.

Don’t mix your artichokes with other veg

Always bear in mind to keep artichokes apart from other fruits and vegetables; artichokes emit ethylene gas, which can speed up the deterioration of nearby produce.

The bottom line

That should be it! You now know how to tell if an artichoke is bad. So, the next time you’re wandering the produce aisle, remember these tips to ensure you bring home only the good ones.

More About Artichokes

How To Tell If An Artichoke Is Bad

How To Tell If An Artichoke Is Bad

Here are the top 10 signs for how to tell if an artichoke is bad.

Ingredients

  • Here are the top ten ways to help you determine if an artichoke has gone bad. Look for fresh, green leaves that are tightly packed. Otherwise, the following are signs so you will know how to tell if an artichoke is bad:

Instructions

  1. The leaves are brown or black. Fresh artichoke leaves are bright green and tightly closed. If the leaves are brown or black, it is a sign that the artichoke is no longer fresh.
  2. The artichoke is soft or squishy. A fresh artichoke should be firm to the touch. If it feels soft or squishy, it is past its prime.
  3. The artichoke has a slimy texture. If the artichoke feels slimy or slippery to the touch, it is no longer good to eat.
  4. The artichoke has a strong odor. Fresh artichokes have a mild, earthy smell. If the artichoke has a strong odor, it is not fresh.
  5. The artichoke is wilted. A fresh artichoke should be perky and upright. If it is wilted, it is not fresh.
  6. The artichoke has bruises or cuts. Bruises and cuts can allow bacteria to enter the artichoke, making it unsafe to eat.
  7. The artichoke is moldy. Mold is a sign of spoilage. If you see mold on an artichoke, do not eat it.
  8. The artichoke is old. The expiration date on the artichoke label is a good indicator of its freshness. If the artichoke is past its expiration date, it is best to discard it.
  9. The artichoke has been stored improperly. Artichokes should be stored in a cool, dark place. If they have been stored improperly, they may spoil more quickly.
  10. You are not sure if it is good. If you are not sure if an artichoke is good, it is always best to err on the side of caution and discard it.

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