Artichoke base. If very freshly picked they can be prepared by breaking off the stem of the artichoke by bending it until it comes off the base. If this is not possible, cut away the stem and then remove the leaves with a very sharp knife and as close to the base as possible, following a spiral motion as you cut upwards until you reach the end of the base. At this point you remove the choke, being certain to remove all last traces, by cutting directly across, underneath the pointed hat shape of hair-like leaves. In older artichokes you might need to scoop this out. Now you take a paring knife to trim the edges of the heart, cutting the leaves close to the slightly bowl-shaped base, starting as if you were peeling an apple and cutting deeper and deeper towards the centre. Rub the heart with lemon to prevent it from discolouring. These are sometimes referred to as artichoke hearts, that are from young artichokes in which the bracts have not yet formed the choke and are included with the base.