Asparagus enjoyment - that's what counts

Valuable tips on the white and green heralds of spring

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Asparagus enjoyment - that's what counts

Real asparagus fans are already waiting impatiently for the start of the local season, as it only lasts for a limited time and always ends on June 24. Hannah Zeyßig, nutrition expert at the NRW consumer advice center, summarizes how to easily identify fresh asparagus and store it correctly.

  • It's all about the weather White asparagus and Germany have a special relationship. Germany is one of the top 5 largest asparagus producers in the world, and we are even number one in Europe. And we are also ahead of the rest of Europe in terms of demand for the vegetable. On average, around 1.5 kilograms of asparagus end up on our plates every year. The delicate asparagus spears taste best when freshly cut, which is why it is particularly worth buying them regionally during the season from the end of March. If the temperatures in our growing areas rise to 12 to 13 degrees under the foil during the day, the tender spears feel comfortable and grow. Night-time cold inhibits their growth. The start of the outdoor season is therefore heavily dependent on the weather. Grades are no longer prescribed for asparagus. However, many retailers classify their produce into the three quality grades Extra, I and II of their own accord. Slightly curved or unsorted spears are often offered at a lower price and taste just as good.

  • Crisp and fresh Fresh stalks are slightly shiny, have no cracks and do not bend but break easily. The cut surfaces should be light and juicy, rather than brownish and dry, and juice should come out when you press lightly with your thumb. Another indication of freshness: asparagus spears squeak when you rub them together. And the heads should be tightly closed and not become soft or mushy when pressed.

  • Good storage If you don't want to prepare and eat white asparagus straight away, you can wrap the stalks unpeeled in a damp cloth and store them in the vegetable drawer of the fridge for a maximum of two to three days. Asparagus is also easy to freeze. To do this, wash it, peel it, cut off the ends and freeze it raw. Do not blanch! To preserve the full aroma during preparation, the frozen asparagus should be placed directly in a small amount of boiling water.

  • Ready to prepare Wash the vegetables thoroughly first. White asparagus spears are best peeled downwards below the heads and the ends cut off, especially if they are dry or woody. With the green variety, only the lower third of the skin needs to be removed. Very thin green spears do not need to be peeled at all. Always cook asparagus with a little water and a closed lid. White asparagus is cooked after around 15 to 25 minutes. Green asparagus needs about 10 to 15 minutes. The cooking time can vary depending on the thickness of the spears, so check that they are firm to the bite from time to time. Extra tip: green asparagus retains its vibrant green color if a little vinegar or lemon juice is added to the cooking water or the spears are then quenched with ice water. If you are in a hurry, you can also simply fry the chopped green asparagus in a pan with a little olive oil or grill it.

  • Note: This article has been translated using a computer system without human intervention. LUMITOS offers these automatic translations to present a wider range of current news. Since this article has been translated with automatic translation, it is possible that it contains errors in vocabulary, syntax or grammar. The original article in German can be found here.

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