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Baby Asparagus

8.50د.إ/PKT

Asparagus is native to most of Europe, northern Africa and western Asia. Though widely found growing wild it is has been cultivated as a vegetable crop for centuries. As it was historically found growing in maritime regions, it prefers sandy weedless soils. The cultivation of asparagus is a long term commitment. Not only does it take two to three years of cultivation to yield a crop, the plants, which grow from a cluster of underground rhizomes, can potentially continue to produce from fifteen to thirty years of harvests. Asparagus plants are prolific growers, creating ten inch spears within 24 hours under ideal growing conditions. You may witness asparagus “growing” once picked. This is because asparagus spears absorb moisture from the air which creates a swelling in size.

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Description

Description/Taste

Jumbo asparagus are specific varieties of asparagus that are cultivated for their ability to maintain a succulent and firm texture when harvested at maximum maturity. They display many of the same flavor characteristics of pencil and medium asparagus, however they may be quite richer in grassiness. Ideal spears are firm and have the quintessential pistachio green knobby scales and Christmas tree-like tips in tact. When cooked they have a meaty density and an equally lean-rich ratio of grass and butter.

Seasons/Availability

Asparagus is available year-round with a peak season of spring.

Current Facts

Asparagus, botanical name Asparagus officinalis, is a member of the Liliaceae family. It is a perennial plant, which produces edible crops year after year. Jumbo asparagus are the young edible leafless stems of the plant, which emerge from the soil in spring and summer. Jumbo asparagus is sold in uniform sizes according to the diameter of the spears. The thickness varies minimally, marketed at 25 to 30 mm (roughly one inch).

Nutritional Value

Asparagus is an excellent source of Vitamin C. It also contains a substantial amount of the antioxidants glutathione and rutin, precursors to Vitamin A.

Applications

Asparagus spears should be snapped at their natural breaking or bending point. Discard the lower parts as they are more fibrous and woody. Jumbo asparagus can be sauteed, steamed, boiled, baked and fried. Spring ingredients such as morel mushrooms, green garlic, wild ramps, fennel, leeks, young lettuces and citruses are most suitable pairings. Other complimentary ingredients include poached and soft boiled eggs, aged nutty cheeses such as pecorino and alpine cheeses, bacon, sausage, red meat, proscuitto, cream, eggs, butter, shallots, herbs such as thyme, basil and chervil, yeasty breads like sourdough and wheat and grains such as aborio rice, quinoa and farro.

Geography/History

Asparagus is native to most of Europe, northern Africa and western Asia. Though widely found growing wild it is has been cultivated as a vegetable crop for centuries. As it was historically found growing in maritime regions, it prefers sandy weedless soils. The cultivation of asparagus is a long term commitment. Not only does it take two to three years of cultivation to yield a crop, the plants, which grow from a cluster of underground rhizomes, can potentially continue to produce from fifteen to thirty years of harvests. Asparagus plants are prolific growers, creating ten inch spears within 24 hours under ideal growing conditions. You may witness asparagus “growing” once picked.

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