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As a result of the recent cold spells throughout California, highly flavorful fresh artichokes known as "frost-kissed" artichokes are now in local grocery stores.

Artichokes are frost kissed when the temperature drops below 32 degrees. Following a freeze, artichoke plants take two to three weeks to start producing frost-free artichokes again.

"The impact of frost on artichokes is similar to how human skin reacts to a sunburn," Kori Tuggle, marketing manager of Castroville, CA-based Ocean Mist Farms, said in a press release. "Frost burns the outside layer of the artichoke, causing it to turn dark brown, and then it flakes and peels."

The brown outer layer is removed during the cooking process, revealing the familiar soft green artichoke that people love.

"Frosting is strictly a cosmetic condition," Ms. Tuggle added in the press release. "While the brownish color may not look pretty, frost-kissed artichokes taste wonderful. The cold weather concentrates the natural artichoke flavors into a more intense, nutty flavor."

Artichoke lovers can visit the Ocean Mist Farms web site to learn more about these unique artichokes.

"A frost-kissed artichoke is a very unique item that is only available during the winter months," Ms. Tuggle added. "Because they are seasonal, we want people to look for them at the grocery store and be sure to buy them during the short time they are in stock."