This artichoke originated in Genoa, Italy. There is also a variety called "sarda" from Sardinia. The spiny artichoke is distinguished by its streamlined shape and the long sturdy thorns or spines that are found at the top of its purple bracts.
Cooking Tips from Alain Llorca
Unlike other varieties, the spiny artichoke is naturally very tender and can be eaten raw.
They're wonderful in the summer eaten simply in a salad, plain or with a vinaigrette of olive oil, Balsamic vinegar and Parmesan shavings, or accompanied by some tiny calamari.