WHAT IS ASPARAGUS?
These slender, phallic shaped spears are both healthy and delicious. Originally popular in ancient Greece, the wild version back thin was darker, thinner and more bitter. It is a perennial (like the Terminator it comes back year after year) that prefers less acidic soil. The three most popular types of asparagus consumed today are the green, purple and white. The latter is an albino plant which grows completely underground. While this plant has a 10 year life span, it takes 2 to 3 years to produce edible stalks.
WHY IS ASPARAGUS GOOD FOR YOU?
Historically asparagus has been regarded both as a food and a medicine. It is low in cholesterol, sodium and fat while rich in vitamins A,E, B6 and K. Also asparagus is a great source of fiber and minerals. Folate is also present and 5 ounces of this vegetable contain about half of the recommended daily allowance. Lastly, asparagus is a natural diuretic though it gives your urine a slightly sulfuric scent. Tell people the Devil took a pee in the bathroom before you and no one will know.
WHEN IS ASPARAGUS IN SEASON?
While it is grown year-round, from the end of winter to the beginning of summer (February through June in the northern hemisphere) is the traditional growing period. The beginning of spring (April) is considered the best time to harvest these stalks.
HOW SHOULD ASPARAGUS BE STORED?
Keep the rubber band on, but trim off the base of the stocks (on a slight angle) like you would with freshly cut flowers. Then put the spears upright in a cup, having an inch or 2 of water at the base. Put a bag over the top (covering to the base) and refrigerate. Change the water when it becomes cloudy and the stalks should stay in good shape for a week. Or you can blanch (remember to use an ice bath to prevent over-cooking) and then freeze your asparagus for up to a year.
WHAT IS THE PROPER WAY TO PEEL ASPARAGUS?
WOULD YOU LIKE TO TRY MY LOVE TIPS?
In ancient Rome asparagus was famous as a sexual aphrodisiac that helped prevent fatigue. Madame Pompadour in the early 1700s would serve it at French dinner parties under the title “Points d’Amour.” However if you’d like to horrify potential partners, peel the stalks in front of them (the skin is astringent) for a more tender meal.