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Asparagus

Mar 06, 2017


 
Asparagus can be used in a wide variety of dishes and it has a rich historic past. Fun fact: it is part of the lily family. 

Availability & Origin
Asparagus is available year-round, but we get the best flavor from February to June, especially in April. China, Peru, and Mexico being the top three growers, the United States comes in 7th on that list. Our top growing states are California, Michigan, and Washington. 

Appearance & Flavor
Though asparagus is usually known for being green, there are also white and purple varieties. They have a mild flavor, similar to broccoli, with an earthy undertone. If your asparagus tastes sour, it may be aged or there may have been a problem with preparation (oops! We've all done it). While selecting asparagus, check for fresh color, firm, yet tender spears that are tightly closed, and moist, plump ends. Signs of aged asparagus include loose tips on the spears, dry or cracked ends, or a yellowed skin.

Storage
Rubber band whole stalks together, cut an inch off the ends, stand them in a cup or jar submerged in an inch or so of water, and loosely cover them with a plastic bag. Using this method, they can last up to one week. If the water gets cloudy, replace it. Cut asparagus should be stored in the fridge in an air-tight container in order to last a week. If you prefer to freeze your asparagus, store the stalks, whole or cut and dried of any water, in a freezer-tolerant bag, and they will last several months. 

Ways to Enjoy
Asparagus goes great in salads, stir-fries, soups, pastas, stews, and dips, or simply as a roasted side dish. Dazzle any guest by preparing this unique flan dish.    

History
Loved by Ancient Greeks and Romans around the 1st century A.D., asparagus was considered a worthy gift offer to their gods. It was even said that Emperor Caesar Augustus would advise his troops to get up and going quicker than you can cook asparagus. Around the late 15th century, asparagus became popular in France and England, making its way to the U.S. shortly after.

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