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It is said that in the Middle Ages, women were forbidden to eat artichokes, due to its blossoming thistles' aphrodisiac qualities. It was Henry II's Italian wife Catherine de Medici that broke the artichoke's gender barrier; she ate them regularly and fed them to her king.

The sensual experience of eating an artichoke — stripping the leaves and scraping their flesh with your teeth — was probably not lost on Marilyn Monroe. Before earning the title of "ultimate sex goddess," the starlet was crowned the first California Artichoke Queen in 1949. Good for your liver as well as your libido, the artichoke is high in fiber and calcium.

Source: Flickr User mDavisPhotography

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