Delicious spring vegetable: asparagus


If asparagus could have inspired the Roman emperor, then you must taste it, if you have not done so. 

In this article, let’s look at what asparagus is; its history; how to cook it and what it gives us. 

What are asparagus?

Asparagus is a green vegetable that is easily recognizable by its long, pointed stems, which are usually grilled, steamed or roasted. This is known as a spring vegetable.

Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis) is a vegetable that comes from the Asparagaceae family. There are more than 200 species in this plant family. Some species are grown as ornamental plants. 

Due to imports from China, Peru and Germany, they can be eaten all year round. Its seasonality also makes asparagus more expensive than other vegetables, and the taste varies depending on where they are grown. 

History of asparagus

Asparagus was first grown in Greece more than 2500 years ago and is believed to have been grown and enjoyed as food by the ancient Romans. It was discovered in the wild. Early cultivated versions of asparagus had thinner stalks and were darker in color than the asparagus we find on the farmers market today. It also had a bitter taste.

Most vegetables are annuals, which means they must be planted every year. Asparagus is one of the few perennial vegetables, which means that they return year after year. So sometimes you can still find wild asparagus.

Asparagus grows in temperate or subtropical climates, in soils that are not too acidic. Today, China, Thailand, Mexico, Peru and Germany are the world's largest asparagus-growing countries. 

Types of asparagus

asparagus white and green

Although green asparagus is the most common, you may have seen or tasted purple or white asparagus. Purple asparagus usually tastes slightly sweeter than green asparagus, while white asparagus has a milder taste. White asparagus is grown in large quantities in France, so it is common in Europe. The vegetable is grown completely underground, so the color-forming chlorophyll never develops, and the stalks leave white.

Health benefits of asparagus

Asparagus is a great source of fiber, cholesterol-free and low in calories and fat. Among the trace elements found in vegetables, it contains the most vitamin K and vitamin B9 (folates). 

It can also provide daily recommended vitamins A, C and E, as well as phosphorus, potassium and protein.

There are many additional benefits to eating asparagus. It can help lower blood pressure, aid digestion and eye health. 

However, as with any product, it should not be overused and used moderately.

6 easy ways to cook asparagus

fried asparagus

Fresh asparagus has an irresistible sweet and pungent texture when eaten raw. Boiling fibrous greens gives new flavors. The naturally tasty aroma requires no more than oil, salt and pepper. 

Asparagus can be cooked on the stove, in the oven or even on the grill if you want to cook outside. Oven, they are given a smoky taste, while steaming keeps them bright green and juicy. 

Try and find your favorite way to make asparagus:

Boiled asparagus

Fried asparagus

Stewed asparagus

Interesting facts about asparagus

  • It takes three years from seed to harvest. Once they start to grow, asparagus plants can be pruned every spring for 15 or more years. The plants become stronger in the second year, and the following spring some plants reach the diameter of a pencil, indicating that they are ready for harvest.
  • Chickens can help grow asparagus. In 2010, a study was conducted, weed growth was reduced to 90 percent after the chickens were released into the asparagus field - no adverse effects on the crop. And there was grass around the asparagus. 
  • China is a world producer of asparagus. The next closest "competitors" are Peru, while Germany and the United States.
  • Michigan is the world's declared asparagus capital. The area produces two-thirds of the country's asparagus and holds a National Asparagus Festival in June each year to celebrate the harvest. 
  • White asparagus is not genetically white. They turn white due to lack of sunlight. 
  • Asparagus put salt. Asparagus, which originates in the sandy, sometimes salty soils of the Mediterranean basin, tolerates salinity better than most common weeds. Today's farmers often rely on chemical herbicides to control weed growth, which is the most labor-intensive aspect of asparagus production, but rock salt was an old-fashioned alternative. However, this is not highly recommended - asparagus can tolerate salt, but adjacent plants will not allow it. 
  • Asparagus plants have sexual differentiation. As a result of asparagus grown in seeds, male and female plants mix 50/50. The flowers look slightly different between the two, and female plants produce a red berry that diverts energy from vegetative growth, making them less productive. For this reason, the main varieties of commercial asparagus are genetically male clones.
  • Love for Asparagus inspired. August was a connoisseur of vegetables, he organized elite military units to bring him asparagus. The famous asparagus fleet carried out circles in the empire to bring the best varieties back to Rome, while the fastest runners were employed to bring fresh asparagus high into the Alps, where they could be frozen for later use. for use.

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