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California Hearts National Artichoke Hearts Day

Today -- due to the sure-to-be velvet-robed members of a secret government initiative to decide these sorts of things in a clandestine candle-lit meeting in the bowels of an nondescript building in the middle of a cornfield -- is National Artichoke Hearts Day. What does that mean for us all? Well, first it lets us relay the "fact" that the first artichoke heart came into existence when the Greek god Zeus got mad at his mistress Cynara for trying to sneak away from Olympia, and used whatever god-powers he had to turn her into one. (Which, you know, good luck topping that origin story, tomatoes!) Secondly, it lets us comb the Interwebs and find a bunch of photos of artichokes. Enjoy!

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Santa Barbara artichoke crop, taken by Flick user mylerdude.

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Artichokes at the Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market in San Francisco, taken by Flickr user p200eric.

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A pesto pizza with artichoke and sundried tomatoes, taken by Flickr user timquijano.

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Artichoke-bean canapes with chipotle "kreme," photo by Flickr user Vegan Feast Catering.

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An artichoke that's the size of your head(!), photo by Flickr user malias.

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Baked artichokes, photo by Flickr user La.blasco.

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Stuffed artichoke dish by Flickr user joyosity.

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Deep fried artichoke hearts from the LA County Fair, photo by starathena.

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Fresh anchovies with artichokes and red beets from Angelini Osteria, taken by Flickr user LWY.

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Baby purple artichokes from the Hollywood Farmer's Market, photo by Flickr user ExperienceLA.