The quality and the taste of olive oil is a very important factor. So for an artichoke lover cooking it with another type of oil would be a serious insult. And some artichoke lovers can take it to extreme ends.
Caravaggio, or Michalengelo Merissi da Carravagio, who is considered to be by some the father of modern painting, -and also my favorite painter, for rescuing the world of painting from the disturbing and artificial angelic depiction of beauty common in Renaissance- was a keen artichoke lover. During his time in Rome, he was well known by the police for his violent behavior. Once he ordered artichoke, and the restaurant owner committed the ultimate crime of serving him artichoke cooked in butter, rather than olive oil. Caravaggio punished him with numerous sword wounds...
Caravaggio was a revolutionary. He was the first to dare picture Biblical events in contemporary settings. His painting above, The Calling of St. Matthew is my favorite. It captures the story of Jesus recruiting Matthew, a tax -or debt- collector, from the tax house so lively. It is also very secular in a sense, Matthew, chosen by son of God -as the Christians believe- carries a very humane and realistic expression of surprise -almost "You're Talkin' To Me?" like-, but not divine salvation. Some historians speculate he was persecuted by the church -or even killed- for taking "God" out of art, and therefore spreading the idea that people need other people, not church or God to survive.
You might ask where did the idea of such an entry come to my mind. Believe or not, I was buying artichokes when Leonard Cohen's "Is This What You Wanted" played on my mp3 player.
The second line of the song goes like:
You were Jesus Christ my Lord,
I was the money lender.
which is an obvious reference to the story painted by this great painter who painted it 407 years ago and still able to influence an engineer with whom he shares the love for artichokes. C'mon admit it, intertextuality is a great thing...