1. Prepare a bowl of acidulated water, this will prevent the artichokes from discoloring.
2. Peel away the lower leaves with your hands until the whole base of the choke is exposed. (Save the leaves, you can steam them and serve them with dip, or use them to make a vegetable stock.)
3. Cut off and discard the top of the artichoke, You want to cut right along where the top of the fleshy choke is, which is usually lower than where you think it is. Knowing where to cut takes a bit of practice, but you'll get the hang of it.
4. Also trim the base stem. If you plan to stuff the artichoke bottoms, you should discard the whole stem. For other artichoke dishes or you can leave about 1-2 inches of the stem on, it is tender and edible.
5. Use your knife to trim away any green spots from the base (underside) of the artichoke bottom. Also peel the outer layer of the stem, if you left the stem on. It doesn't have to be perfect or smooth, but you want to get rid of the green bits some they will be tough.
6. Now, with your knife or a sharp-edged spoon, trim away the inner fuzzy choke. I like to do this part last since it discolors quickly. Again, it doesn't have to be perfect, just trim away the sharp and fuzzy parts of the choke.
7. Place the artichoke in the water and repeat with remaining.
Artichoke recipes: Artichokes with Meat and Tahini Sauce, Artichokes with Peas and Favas, Artichokes with Oranges, Saffron, Almonds and Olives