Artichoke is on all the diets I want to be on, so I'm exploring it. I purchased my first fresh artichoke... I baked it today for an hour with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sea salt, and onion powder. I considered the choke when I got to it.
Like you, I considered that they are intact in the canned version, but I learned from online tutorials that you were supposed to remove them (except in baby artichokes). I couldn't find an answer as to why. It was described as "fuzzy", but I didn't experience it that way. It seemed like just a ton of smaller versions of the petals of the heart, so I carefully tried a bit. I loved it, and ate the rest. It still seemed like just immature petals, and it was tender enough the way I cooked it to not be prickly.
Scooping out the heart and choke and serving just the outer petals seems pretty ridiculous to me, but then, that's why I'm learning how to cook the thing at home, I spent $2.50 on this thing, and I'm getting every penny I can out of it! I would maybe create a dip with the heart and choke and serve it in the artichoke bowl, but the idea that it's being thrown out sickens me. I'm too frugal for that.