Carciofi alla Giudea, which literally translated from the Roman dialect means 'Jewish-style artichokes', is an antipasto that originated in the Roman Ghetto; a Jewish ghetto of Rome that was established in 1555.
Today, the Jewish Quarter where the ghetto once stood is full of small restaurants and taverns where you can taste this Jewish-Roman dish, a favourite during the spring months when the local artichokes from the north-west coastal region of Lazio are in season. In the spring, the local community in the region of Lazio even celebrate this vegetable with artichoke festivals.
This classic dish is very simple to prepare, but this method enhances the aroma and flavour of this vegetable wonderfully. The artichokes are quickly fried so they become crispy and nutty, while the tasty artichoke hearts become tender and earthy. Artichokes are a typical contorni (vegetable and salad) of Lazio cuisine, especially the city of Rome where this dish was invented.
Cimaroli, also called Mammole or Romanesco artichokes, don't contain any tough internal fibres and have a more tender texture than other varieties.