The large artichokes on sale in Normandy markets in August are probably best suited to boiling whole. You strip off the leaves, dip them in vinaigrette or butter, and suck out the fleshy bits. Once you have done that, you discard the hairy choke, and eat the heart.
Nice enough, but a bit boring. I thought that I would pare away the leaves and cook the heart. There were two problems: I should have started with a smaller, more compact artichoke; and I have always had difficulty in understanding cookery writers' instructions on how to do the preparation. I found it impossible to snap off the leaves while leaving behind the fleshy parts, and I wasted a fair amount of decent vegetable.
Nevertheless, the hearts, eaten in a salad, were a rare, if expensive, treat.