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Atascadero Farmers Market Reporter Interviews Grower



The artichoke photo above shows fresh grown artichokes sold at a weekly farmer's market in Atascadero, California. The artichoke capital of the world is a few hours north in Castroville, home to the Artichoke Festival and the Giant Artichoke.

The quality and size of artichokes available in Central California's Atascadero and nearby markets is fantastic and for foodies, yet one more reason to get out and explore California's markets, farms and restaurants.

Some fine restaurants exist in this section of California, and we've enjoyed superb delivery of roasted artichokes at Adamo Winery Tasting Room and Restaurant in Old Orcutt. Served with a flavorful dip that included wine, the rich, smoky flavor held by a light baste of oil helped sear the flavor into the finest hearts of these locally grown artichokes.  Travelers will find the cuisine starting to up itself a notch or two as L.A. and bay area transplants open restaurants, and the growing wine businesses open restaurants to accompany their wine tasting experiences.

Did you know that artichokes also make excellent accents to a table buffet or large flower arrangement? We've seen them used in restaurants and on buffet serving tables and they really are nice. The artichokes sold with their stems intact at the Atascadero Farmers Market are ideal for this application.

But when you live in the region where these fresh foods are grown, you'll discover many like to cook foods at home and entertain the old-fashioned way since there aren't the abundance of cafes and bistros that you find in the metropolitan areas.

So when visiting Central California, you'll find some restaurants offer barbeque areas where visitors can cook their goodies. Dolphin Bay Resort, our favorite choice, has a full gourmet kitchen where you'll find yourself longing to stay in and cook when visiting Pismo Beach, approx. an hour from Atascadero.