|Wednesday What's New: Asparagus on the Menu|
|Written by Heleigh Bostwick Wednesday, 01 May 2013|
Spring means itís asparagus season and even if you donít like the taste of asparagus, itís still an interesting vegetable. The parts of the plant that we eat are the buds and stalks, which emerge from the ground in spring. During the growing season stalks can grow as much as 7 to 10 inches a day and must be harvested every day. Believe it or not, asparagus is a member of the lily plant family (Lilaceae). For most of the year, the asparagus plant is somewhat nondescript with its feathery foliage and red berries, but is recognizable once you know what it is.
Considered a gourmet vegetable, there are several kinds of asparagus including those with thin stalks, fat stalks, white asparagus, and a purple variety. Fat stalks are from younger more vigorous plants and thin stalks (which for some reason I prefer) are from older plants or those grown closer together. When asparagus stalks emerge from the soil, the sunlight turns them green due to chlorophyll production. White asparagus is grown without sunlight. Instead, when the stalks emerge, dirt is piled on them so that the stalks are growing under the soil. After a certain period the tips emerge and voila(!), white asparagus.