Roman-Jewish Fried Artichokes (Carciofi alla Giudia) – Searching for Italy Recipe

Carciofi alla giudia (which translates to ‘Jewish-style artichokes’) can be best described as ‘golden sunflowers’ that are as addicting and poppable as potato chips. This is a traditional Roman-Jewish fried artichoke recipe that can be found in cookbooks that go as far back as the 16th century, and were prepared all the time especially for Yom Kippur. They are so deliciously nutty and crunchy, it’s no wonder this dish has been so popular over the years.

Of course the best place to have these is ‘when in Rome’, which is where Stanley Tucci had them (at La Reginella) in the Rome episode of Searching for Italy. But if you’re itching to make these from the comfort of your own home, then we have the recipe for you!

What Kind of Artichokes Should You Use?

Roman cimaroli (or mammole) artichokes
Roman cimaroli – or mammole – artichokes

The recipe is traditionally made with Roman cimaroli (or mammole) artichokes, which are large, round, tender and sometimes have a violet hue. These are the ideal ones to use for this recipe because they are plucked before their chokes have developed, and they don’t have those sharp thorns that the American globes have.

If you’re not able to get your hands on Roman mammoles, don’t worry. You can get definitely use regular large artichokes – you’ll just need to remove the tough outer leaves, the choke, and trim down the leaves (which we’ll provide in more detail below.)

Why is there a 2-Stage Frying Process?

  1. Much like French fries, the 1st round is to cook and tenderize. While the 2nd round is to get them golden and crispy.
  2. This also allows you to mix and match different oil combinations for each round. For subtle oil flavors that allow the taste of the artichoke to shine through, use light-tasting olive oil, vegetable or canola oils. For a more traditional flavor profile, use extra virgin olive oil. And for something a little bit nuttier try sunflower seed oil.
Roman-Jewish Fried Artichokes Recipe
Roman-Jewish Fried Artichokes Recipe

If you like this post, then we definitely recommend checking out our Zucchini Spaghetti recipe post.

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