Although the buds are edible, what we eat from thistles (like from artichokes), are the stems of the leaves, called stalks. The root can also be eaten and it is called heart.
The thistles can be eaten fresh. Here it is necessary to clean. This will eliminate the points and wires will be removed from the edges and central part of the leaves. We can also buy canned thistles, which are already cleaned and cooked. However, they have fewer properties to the thistle fresh food.
The main problems of the thistles in the kitchen are two:
- Its hardness: The thistles are quite hard so they must be cooked for 1,5 hours in water at least.
- Its facility to turn black: To keep them from turning black, it is desirable to spray the leaves or buds with lemon. Lemon is one of the best antioxidants; it prevents the cut thistles from turning black.