Last week I had some leisure and read the food supplement of my wife's favorite satirical paper ("HaAretz") and found recipes based on the local thistle or cardoon. This morning I found a lot of them growing wild in the Bney Re'em area. The cardoon is a native Mediterranean plant but also found in Argentina, where it grows to gigantic size. I had never heard of anyone eating it, on the contrary, in Argentina it was considered an invasive foreign weed. The Israeli cardoon (see pic in the
Ramle Shook) is raquitic and tasteless, and one has to be starving to collect it in the fields, to take the trouble of cleaning it and cook it. Its gastronomic and nutritional value is zero, but it has great potential as a basic ingredient of the newly invented Israeli traditional folk cuisine.