At this time of year I can't resist a jumbo artichoke. The one before me is HUGE.
Growing up near the coast of Northern California, I learned how to eat artichokes the right way ... ... just peeling off the leaves one by one, dipping them in Best Foods mayo, then peeling the heart away from the pulpy bit at the end, and cutting the heart up into quarters, dipping it into more Best Foods. Basically, an artichoke is just a vehicle for good mayo.
The first time I had one at a restaurant, the top had been lopped off, the center hollowed out, and a sauce poured into it for dipping. I was horrified.
How do you eat your choke? Or are you intimidated by the noble thistle?