At the center of every artichoke, there lies a tender heart...literally. Artichoke hearts are at the meaty center of the artichoke flower. The heart is surrounded by tender, edible leaves. For a cooked artichoke, the heart can be consumed as is (after scooping out the prickly choke in the middle), but the fleshy, mild texture of the heart also lends itself very well to marinades, roasting, frying and preserving.
Trimmed artichoke hearts are available jarred in marinade, and also frozen. Both types lend an artichoke flavor to dishes without all the work of trimming a whole artichoke.