Thought to be developed first in Sicily, Italy, and mentioned in Greek and Roman literature as far back as 77 AD. Artichokes did not become well known in America until the 1920's. By 1929, Artichokes were the third largest cash crop in the Salinas Valley of Monterey County, California. Castroville, CA made it on the map when Ms Marilyn Monroe was crowned "Artichoke Queen" in 1948! 80% of all Artichokes grown commercially are grown in Castroville.