Asparagus – Interesting Facts

Asparagus, or garden asparagus, is a flowering perennial plant of the Asparagus genus. It is one of around 220 asparagus types that is suitable for consumption. The young plant shoots can be eaten and, depending on the type and how it was harvested, are either white, purple or green. The main producer of asparagus in Europe is Germany, but worldwide China, Peru and Mexico take the lead. Asparagus is a delicate vegetable and must be used when it is fresh and bursting with vitamins, as asparagus is not only tasty, but also very healthy.

 

Food Facts Food Facts

Asparagus 

Class

Asparagus

Calories

18 kcal per 100 g 

Nutrients

3.9g carbohydrates, 2.1g fibre, 0.14g fat, 2g protein per 100 g 

Season

approx. mid-April to mid-June, depending on weather

Storage

wrap in a damp cloth and keep in the fridge

Shelf life

2 to 3 days

Asparagus – From Field to Table

To thrive, asparagus needs light, hummus-rich, sandy soil. The crowns, or rhizomes, are planted in rows in March and left to grow for two years. During the third year the characteristic earth dams are made in the asparagus field to allow them to grow for as long as possible. These earth dams are often covered in black tarpaulin, to ensure the temperature of the ground is stable and to achieve higher quality asparagus spears.

The harvest is mid-April to mid-June, with the asparagus season traditionally ending on the 24th of June, St. Johannis Day. Asparagus should always be served as fresh as possible. Although it can be preserved in tins or by freezing, this affects the taste. It is better to simply store it fresh in the fridge, wrapped in a damp kitchen towel. Tip: You can tell asparagus is fresh if its head is still closed and it makes a squeaky noise when two spears are rubbed together.

Asparagus – Healthy and Delicious

Whether boiled, steamed, fried, marinated or grilled – there are endless ways to turn asparagus into a healthy and delicious meal. You can find some suggestion recipes further down. However, the “edible ivory”, as it is often referred to in Germany, is not only valuable because of its taste, it also has a high nutritional value: vitamin C, K, A, B1, B2, folic acid and vitamin E, as well as magnesium, potassium, iron and copper make asparagus a healthy treat. It is also very low in carbohydrates and due to its aspartic acid content acts as a diuretic. For these reasons, asparagus recipes should be a component of any diet.

A traditional asparagus dish is boiled white asparagus with hollandaise sauce, ham and potatoes. Asparagus cream soup is another important staple of asparagus season. If you prefer slightly lighter options, leave the cream and make a clear asparagus soup with vegetables instead. Marinated asparagus gives any salad a tasty edge and combined with fresh strawberries asparagus is a real taste sensation. Green asparagus is also delicious as a pizza topping.

Asparagus – Preparation

There are special asparagus saucepans, which cook asparagus upright with a little water. This way the valuable nutrients are largely preserved. Alternatively the asparagus spears can also be cooked lying down in a big pot, with just enough water to cover them. A pinch of salt in the water, and sugar for green or bitter white asparagus, is all the seasoning you need. Depending on how you like your asparagus to be cooked, it should boil for 10 to 20 minutes, although green asparagus needs less time to cook than white asparagus.

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Asparagus Recipes

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