Tip of the Day: Hunting for the Best Asparagus Bundle at the Grocers


It’s Valentine’s Day, and I have a funny plant fact for you.  Did you know that Asparagus is considered an aphrodisiac?  Evidently, some people consider it’s shape to be phallic, and in early France, it was once tradition for a bridegroom to consume 3 courses of asparagus before his wedding night!!!   In Elizabethan times, Asparagus was thought to “provoketh Venus”

If you are in the mood for love today, you are in luck!

Asparagus is on sale at Fareway for $1.88 per bundle!!!! EEEEP!

So, I was just at the grocery store and guess what?  Asparagus must be in season in California or some part of the US, because it’s on sale!!!!  Normally, it’s about $4/bundle!

I was very excited, so naturally, I bought some!

Today’s Tip is super easy!

Question: How do you find the best bundle of asparagus?

Answer:  Look for the bundle that has it’s cut ends still in the tray of water in the cooler section!  That’s it!

Reason:  If the cut ends are still in water, the asparagus stems will be nicely hydrated, plump and juicy for when you cook them.

Question: What if there are none in a tray with water?

Answer:

  • When you get home, re-cut about a half an inch off the cut ends (UNDER RUNNING WATER) and then place them in a glass with about 2 or 3 inches of water.
  • You can put them back in the fridge in the glass,
  • or if you plan to eat them that night, just leave them out on the counter.

Reason: 

  • Think of your own body, if you get a cut, you bleed for a bit, and if you are an average, healthy person, eventually, a scab forms, and you stop bleeding.  The same thing holds true with cut plant stems, like Asparagus spears!
  • If the wound/cut part, is dried out, or scabbed over, so to speak, it will be less able to absorb water and rehydrate when you put them in a glass of water.
  • Re-cutting the stems under running water, is kind of like starting a siphon for the Asparagus stems, making it easier for them to slurp up a gulp of water throughout the day/days prior to cooking them.

Quick Roasted Asparagus Recipe:

Heat oven to 425 degrees F

Ingredients:  Fresh Asparagus, Olive Oil, Kosher Salt

Directions:

  1. Rinse Asparagus spears under cool water
  2. Starting from the top of the stem, gently bend the stem, working your way down to the cut end.
  3. When the stem snaps, keep the top end, and discard the bottom.  This process will prevent you from having woody/chewy pieces that are not fun to bite into!
  4. Grab a cookie sheet
  5. Place a sheet of tin foil on top of the cookie sheet
  6. Place Asparagus on top of the sheet
  7. Drizzle Asparagus with a few tablespoons of olive oil
  8. Toss Asparagus until coated with olive oil
  9. Bake at 425 for about 15 to 20 minutes
  10. Remove from oven when Asparagus is bright green, and still slightly firm, but juicy on the inside.
  11. Sprinkle with Kosher salt, toss, and devour!
  12. The same thing can be done using a grill basket out on the grill!

Did You Know?

  • Asparagus is a urinary system stimulant
  • Asparagus is high in vitamin C
  • Asparagus is high in beta carotene
  • Asparagus is high in the mineral, selenium
  • You can eat a whole pound of it at the cost of only 120 calories! If you leave out the butter, and sauces, etc
  • If you have a lot of patience, you can grow asparagus from seed, but you have to tack on an extra year before you can harvest
  • Gardening guides from the 18th century once recommended that a small family should plant 2 acres of asparagus!  That’s a lot of asparagus!!!!
  • Asparagus harvested from your own garden is thought to contain 66% more vitamin C than Asaragus that is shipped across country, like from CA to NY for example.
  • Asparagus is a member of the Lily family
  • Asparagus is a perennial, meaning, it comes back year after year
  • A well maintained Asparagus bed can be prolific for more than a hundred years!
If you would like to try growing your own asparagus this year, here is a link to a popular, disease resistant, and prolific variety. You may be able to order now, and then the crowns will be shipped in the spring. Otherwise, bookmark this page, and order in March or April.

Order Purple Asparagus Seeds


Order Green Asparagus Seeds 

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