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The Best Way to Keep Asparagus Fresh

If you were to ask me last spring what is the best way to keep asparagus fresh, I would have told you the following:

Choose your asparagus wisely; making sure that they are not wilted and the bottoms are not dried out. Once you get the asparagus home, wrap the tips in a loose paper towel (this keeps them from getting mushy) and then store (up to 5 days) in your vegetable crisper.

These tips were largely empirical, as in they worked for me. But admittedly I was wrong, at least half wrong.

Asparagus, which is now in season in much of the country, should be treated more like a cut flower than something to be forgotten at the bottom of the vegetable crisper. Courtesy of, we get some great tips about how to select the freshest asparagus (I was right about that) and then how to store your bunch for maximum freshness (this is where I was wrong). You could watch the video below, but the tips are as follows:

Select the freshest asparagus and then, once home, remove the rubber bands and cut off about an inch of the bottom stalk (much like what you would do for cut flowers) and then submerge bottoms upright in an inch or two of water in a glass. Cover with a loose fitting plastic bag and then store in the fridge. They should stay fresh for at least a few more days than they would have with my old method. But be warned: these little bouquets tend to be top heavy and can easily be knocked over in a crowded fridge.

How do you keep asparagus fresh? Do you have another method that works better? Have you ever been wrong about your own kitchen wisdom?

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Eric Steinman

Eric Steinman is a freelance writer based in Rhinebeck, NY. He regularly writes about food, music, art, architecture, and culture and is a regular contributor to Bon Appétit among other publications.


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9:44PM PDT on May 18, 2013

Good tip

4:47PM PDT on May 12, 2013

I just bought some fresh asparagus last night so this tip is very timely. I am going to go take care of them right now. Thanks for the helpful tip.

2:36AM PDT on May 2, 2013


9:17PM PDT on May 1, 2013

Will try the up right thing and use them sooner! Thank You

10:10AM PDT on Apr 29, 2013

You are right about the crowded fridge, but I'm going to try sticking them upright in water. Should have better results, after all that how I see them when I buy at the store. Thanks for the handy tip on one of my favorite vegetables.

9:34AM PDT on Apr 28, 2013

Is it true that asparagus makes your wee stink? Either that or my son is taking something he shouldn't be! He says it's the asparagus???

4:06AM PDT on Apr 28, 2013


11:50AM PDT on Apr 26, 2013

I have a jar which is used exclusively for storing asparagus in the fridge. I don't put a plastic bag over the top though.

9:20AM PDT on Apr 26, 2013


8:46AM PDT on Apr 26, 2013

Great tip,thanks!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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