Today I came across this information in my Facebook stream about the health benefits of asparagus.
Growing up in Switzerland all asparagus for sale in the stores were white and I thought that’s the color of the vegetable. Imagine my surprise when I moved to Canada, that most asparagus sold in stores were green. I was totally puzzled by this color change. A little research revealed that the color has to do with the way the vegetable is grown.
It turns out that in Europe once the asparagus tip appears above the soil, it is immediately covered again with soil and never exposed to the sunlight, so the plant does not create chlorophyll and stays pure white. In North America, however, the plant is left to grow without it being covered and it turns green.
From my experience there is no difference in taste, except I don’t recall having smelly pee with white asparagus. When it comes to cooking, white asparagus need to be peeled as the they develop a hard outer skin. Green asparagus do not need to be peeled to be eaten.
How do you eat asparagus?
I typed asparagus.com in the address bar and discovered that it is the site of the Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board, chock full of info and recipes about asparagus.
Asparagus can be eaten raw, blanched, steamed, grilled, any way you like.
The tips are the delicacy and the bottom can be woody, I usually cut off about 2 inches.
In Switzerland steamed asparagus is served with fresh mayonnaise. I still eat it this way. Our family’s Christmas eve dinner was canned asparagus with melted butter, prosciutto ham and I don’t recall what the starch was.
Now, I often cut up cooked, leftover asparagus into small pieces and add them to my salad.
Check out some Asparagus Recipes Books at Amazon.com