14 Asparagus Tidbits

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I planted an asparagus patch once. While doing my research I learned you should not harvest it the first year. I followed those directions and let it mature through the year. I looked forward to the day when I’d be able to pick and eat my own asparagus. Unfortunately, the next spring weeds began encroaching from the cornfield behind my house. I had to till under the part of the garden that had my asparagus. I lost my little asparagus dream.

I gave up my goal of my own asparagus patch but each spring, I still get a hankering for asparagus. My newest recipe is a low carb quiche with a combo of asparagus, mushrooms and Gruyere cheese. BIG YUM!

I thought I’d lay out some fun asparagus trivia for you to chew on. Here are 14 asparagus tidbits.

  1. Asparagus is one of the only perennial vegetables.
  2. There are approximately 300 asparagus varieties but only 20 are edible.
  3. The most common asparagus variety is green in color. Two other edible varieties are white and purple.
  4. In Europe they call white asparagus “white gold” or “edible ivory” and refer to it as the “royal vegetable.”
  5. White asparagus is less bitter and much more tender. It’s also more expensive.
  6. White asparagus is grown under a layer of mulch. That’s why it stays white. I never sees the sun. Otherwise it would turn green.
  7. Wild asparagus is a species with a long history of use in India and Asia as a botanical medicine.
  8. Thin asparagus can be eaten without peeling it, but if it’s the fatter asparagus you’ll want to peel it before you cook it.
  9. Asparagus is 93 percent water.
  10. In France, asparagus is most often served with Hollandaise sauce.
  11. The asparagus pee phenomenon is a curious and widely observed occurrence. When you eat asparagus, it can lead to a distinct and sometimes pungent smell in your urine. Do some people have pungent pee or only some people can smell pungent pee? It’s still a mystery.
  12. Asparagus is reported to show a lowering of disease risk for things like heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. So eat up!
  13. Asparagus, like other vegetables doesn’t instantly “die” when it’s picked. It still has metabolic activity but it does spoil pretty quickly. It loses its moisture. So that’s why you see it at the grocery store standing in water. Asparagus should be eaten within 48 hours of purchase for best flavor.
  14. Asparagus is such a big cash crop in California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. They have an asparagus festival every year. So does Hart, Michigan. In the Vale of Evesham in Worcestershire, England, they produce more asparagus than any other region in northern Europe. They have a week long asparagus festival and the locals dress up as asparagus and parade around.



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