Asparagus was first cultivated 2,500 years ago by the Greeks.
Ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans liked asparagus as much as we do and ate it when in season.
Some people have strong-smelling urine after eating asparagus – a sulfur-like odor resulting from the digestion of certain amino acids. And some people are genetically unable to detect the smell.
- Best to buy fresh at the farmerís market.
- Choose firm, bright green spears with closed and dry tips. Asparagus can have thick or thin spears. It is best to choose one or the other when cooking so spears will cook at the same rate.
- Avoid shriveled or smelly asparagus.
- If the woody bottom ends of the stalks exceed 15 percent of the total length of the spears, it is likely to be tough.
- It is fragile, damages easily and dries out quickly. It’s best to eat as soon as possible.
- Gently squeeze the bunch of asparagus ó if it squeaks, itís fresh.
- You may think the thin stalks are more tender but that is not the case. Most often, jumbo stalks are more tender and succulent than their pencil-thin counterparts.
How to Store:
- Cut off the bottom inch of the stalks.
- Wrap the freshly cut stems in a wet paper towel.
- Place the asparagus in a plastic bag.
- It will last in the refrigerator up to three days.
- For a longer life, stand asparagus upright (cut end down) in water, and cover it with a plastic bag to retain moisture.
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