Why Eating a Whole Artichoke Is the Worst Idea Ever

artichokeA major advantage of being born into an Italian family is that I learned how to eat an artichoke at a young age.

It's simple really: You peel off a petal, then scrape off the tender portion at the tip with your teeth. The heart is also edible. The other parts of the artichoke -- the actual leaves, the hairy stuff at the bottom, the stem, etc. -- should never in any circumstances be eaten.

Unless you are this guy and then you pay a dear price for your idiocy ...


A doctor in Miami ordered grilled artichokes at a Houston's restaurant and then somehow managed to eat the entire thing: leaves, stem, and all. I'm finding it inconceivable how he got it all down -- those leaves are seriously sharp, not to mention bitter and fibrous -- but there you go!

When he subsequently checked into a hospital complaining of "severe abdominal pain and discomfort," an exploratory laparotomy revealed artichoke leaves lodged within his bowel -- eeps!

He's now suing the restaurant chain, claiming that he had never seen or heard of an artichoke previously, and that the restaurant failed in its "duty to train its table servers to explain the proper method of consuming an artichoke." For its part, the restaurant feels bad but thinks the case is pretty silly.

I feel for the guy, I really do. But should the restaurant be penalized for assuming its customers come to the table with a little common sense? Or should chicken bones, pumpkin seeds, artichoke leaves, apple cores, and other inedibles come with a warning label and eating instructions?

Do you think this guy has a strong case against the restaurant?


Image via jspatchwork/Flickr

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