Did you know that there are three different colors of asparagus? Read to learn more about the varieties of asparagus!
It’s common knowledge that green asparagus is a popular vegetable in the United States, but many people know little about the crop. For example, asparagus is actually a member of the lily family, along with garlic, onions and leeks. It was first grown in Greece 2,500 years ago, where many believed it had healing powers. Today, we appreciate asparagus for its nutritional properties. Asparagus is high in potassium, folic acid and fiber. On the other hand, it is low in sodium and contains no fat or cholesterol.
To grow asparagus, a crown is first planted. After that, the plant can’t be harvested until almost three years later. Once mature, the asparagus stalks can grow up to 10 inches in 24 hours if the crop is well taken care of. It also has the potential to be harvested for 15 years without having to be replanted. Once harvested, you can tell the quality of the asparagus by its diameter- the larger the diameter, the higher the quality.
Most people are used to seeing green asparagus, but there are also white and purple varieties. The green is the most popular variety in the United States, but the white asparagus is the most popular in Europe. White asparagus is kept under the soil during the whole growth process. It never sees the sunlight, so it usually has to be peeled before cooking.
Purple asparagus is genetically modified- it’s sweeter due to slightly higher sugar content. But don’t let this fool you. Purple asparagus is still a healthy choice, low in calories.
If you really want to celebrate Asparagus Month, visit Schwetzingen, Germany. Self-named the Asparagus Capitol of the World, Schwetzingen has an annual festival to celebrate asparagus-even crowning a king or queen of asparagus!
Vigo has both marinated white asparagus and marinated green asparagus! Check a store near you to try them out!