Asparagus --- Edible Ivory

asparagus
@MALUSE (40045)
Germany
April 26, 2018 11:33am CST
When Germans think ‘asparagus’, they think very large fields with rows of elevated beds watched attentively during the season from the end of April until 24th June, the day of St. John after which asparagus is not eaten any more. Just after sunrise the pickers go out onto the fields and where they see a slight crack in the soil, they put their special knife in and cut the stalk carefully. In order to get completely white - or to be precise: off-white, ivory coloured - asparagus, the cutting must be done before the tip of the plant gets into contact with sunlight which would make it green or slightly violet. Diligent pickers can pick three to five kilos per hour. That means approximately 100 stalks. During the season asparagus grows so quickly that there’s a second harvest in the afternoons! It can’t come as a surprise to learn that given its phallic shape, asparagus is frequently enjoyed as an aphrodisiac food. A Vegetarian Society suggests, ‘Feed your lover boiled or steamed spears for a sensuous experience’ and, ‘Eating asparagus for three days for the most powerful affect‘. [I haven’t tried it. If you do, leave a comment, please. I can include your experience in an update:-)]. What is so special about asparagus? 95% of the plant is water, but the rest contains valuable minerals and vitamins, according to dietologists it is an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin A and vitamin K, folacin, a good source of dietry fibre and also supplies the B group vitamins thiamine and riboflavine, as well as potassium and iron. It cleans the blood, activates the kidneys and drains water out of the body. Unfortunately it has also an unpleasant side-effect, at least for one day: the urine stinks repulsively! Why that is so nobody can say for sure. Strangely, only 50% of the asparagus eaters are affected which makes the whole thing quite mysterious. How do we prepare asparagus? It must be fresh, that’s vital. It should best be eaten on the day of picking. The heads must still be closed, the stems must make a squeaking sound when you rub them against each other. Wash the stalks, cut off the end and peel them with a knife or a potato peeler. If you have to keep the asparagus for a day or two, wrap the stalks into a damp cloth such as a kitchen towel and put them in the fridge. Fill the pot with so much water that the stalks are covered, add some butter (!) and sugar (!) and bring to boil. Add some salt before you put the stalks in, boil them for five minutes, then simmer for about 15 minutes. The classical asparagus dish in Germany is: asparagus, boiled new potatoes, ham and Sauce Hollandaise. I buy it ready made, it tastes good and wouldn’t taste better if I prepared it myself. Don’t throw the water away in which you’ve boiled the asparagus, put the peelings in and let them simmer for 20 minutes. You can then press them through a sieve to get some pulp out (and then throw them away). The liquid you’ve got now is a kind of stock. I’ve put it in the freezer and will use it in winter to make delicious asparagus soup. White vegetables go well with white wine. --- Photo: pixabay
20 people like this
21 responses
@xFiacre (4415)
• Ireland
26 Apr
@maluse So it makes one run to the toilet a lot- is that really an advantage? However with so many health benefits it must be worth it.
4 people like this
@MALUSE (40045)
• Germany
26 Apr
You've misunderstood something. It does not make you run to the toilet. Not at all. But when you go to the toilet you *may* notice that your urine stinks. This is a peculiarity only some people have. I don't know what it depends on.
3 people like this
@xFiacre (4415)
• Ireland
26 Apr
@MALUSE I don’t think I’m one of those afflicted thusly.
2 people like this
@MALUSE (40045)
• Germany
26 Apr
@xFiacre Well, then. Lucky you. Off you go and buy some asparagus for next Sunday!
4 people like this
@mlgen1037 (29644)
• Manila, Philippines
26 Apr
I have never seen a white asparagus. Mostly here are color green. But thank you for this discussion, @MALUSE. I would add that to my recipe list and ask my mom to prepare one.
3 people like this
@MALUSE (40045)
• Germany
26 Apr
Drop me a line when you've eaten it. Green asparagus can also be bought in Germany. It often comes from Italy. There the white variety is unknown, too.
2 people like this
@mlgen1037 (29644)
• Manila, Philippines
27 Apr
@MALUSE I will do that. Interesting there is so much to learn.
1 person likes this
• Dallas, Texas
26 Apr
This is an excellent article. I will save this one to share with my wife. She and I do enjoy asparagus as well as cream of asparagus soup. Good share.
1 person likes this
@MALUSE (40045)
• Germany
26 Apr
Thank you for your friendly words. I wish you 'Good Appetite' as the Germans say before a meal.
1 person likes this
• Dallas, Texas
27 Apr
@MALUSE , Thank you.
@porwest (4839)
• United States
27 Apr
Hmm. @lookatdesktop Cream and asparagus soup. Never thought of making a soup out of it, but why not? Sounds good.
1 person likes this
@AlisaTR (1381)
• United States
26 Apr
Can you tell me why it isn't eaten after June? It may be a fairly obvious answer, but I honestly don't know.
1 person likes this
@MALUSE (40045)
• Germany
26 Apr
Good question! I found an explanation in a guide for people who plant asparagus in their garden: "Harvest at 8 inches tall, snapping them off at the soil line. ***Stop when the diameter of the spear decreases to the size of a pencil. Then it is time to stop and let them grow, gaining strength for next spring.*** We harvest every other day during the season. ***Once the asparagus starts to open and have foliage, it’s too tough for eating.*** So the answer is that later in the year the spears become too thin and too tough.
2 people like this
@AlisaTR (1381)
• United States
26 Apr
@MALUSE ohhh... I understand.
1 person likes this
@amadeo (65626)
• United States
26 Apr
I never had the white or saw them at the market?
1 person likes this
@MALUSE (40045)
• Germany
26 Apr
Green asparagus can also be bought in Germany. It often comes from Italy. There the white variety is unknown, too.
1 person likes this
@Tampa_girl7 (25677)
• United States
26 Apr
I love asparagus, but have only seen the green version
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (156900)
• Switzerland
27 Apr
I like asparagus, but I prefer the green variety to the white big ones. Tagliatelle with shrimps and green asparagus (with a sort of hollandaise sauce) are delicious.
@MALUSE (40045)
• Germany
27 Apr
I've eaten green asparagus in Sardinia. It was the wild variety growing in the macchia.
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (156900)
• Switzerland
27 Apr
@MALUSE The small wild asparagus are very good with risotto or to make an omelette.
@MALUSE (40045)
• Germany
27 Apr
@LadyDuck I think we had it in an omelette.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (123138)
• Bunbury, Australia
26 Apr
We can buy tinned asparagus (but we don't) but it's mostly green. I'm sure it's inferior to what you're describing here.
@MALUSE (40045)
• Germany
27 Apr
We would never eat tinned asparagus.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (123138)
• Bunbury, Australia
27 Apr
@MALUSE I had to do a search for 'fresh asparagus perth' and it seems you can buy it fresh in WA. I can't remember seeing it in the shops but that means nothing.
@MALUSE (40045)
• Germany
27 Apr
@JudyEv You should try it once, maybe there are restaurants which offer it.
1 person likes this
@valmnz (12759)
• New Zealand
5 May
I've not seen white asparagus before. We have green asparagus here.
@MALUSE (40045)
• Germany
5 May
I've seen green asparagus but never eaten it. So I don't know if there is a difference in taste.
1 person likes this
@valmnz (12759)
• New Zealand
5 May
@MALUSE I like them, some people don't. I lime mine served with a cheese sauce.
@garymarsh6 (14039)
• United Kingdom
29 Apr
Oh yes it is that time of year again, Asparagus season. Most decent restaurants would be serving this right now. I am unfortunately one of those people who NEVER eat Asparagus because of the smell from Urine after you have eaten it. It is the foulest thing you can imagine. So you may have my share!
@MALUSE (40045)
• Germany
29 Apr
Thanks. You're very generous. But I never eat much asparagus whenever I eat it at all. I've made it clear that I also suffer from that affliction as does my husband.
1 person likes this
@garymarsh6 (14039)
• United Kingdom
29 Apr
@MALUSE I never buy it so I don't have that problem thankfully.
@id_peace (6929)
• Singapore
27 Apr
it looked very nice
@MALUSE (40045)
• Germany
27 Apr
And it tastes good !
1 person likes this
@id_peace (6929)
• Singapore
27 Apr
Yes busy with chilli
@porwest (4839)
• United States
27 Apr
I've seen it in the stores but have never eaten white asparagus. Only the green variety. But one of these days I may buy it instead of the green. But yes. It definitely makes your pee stink.
@MALUSE (40045)
• Germany
27 Apr
Obviously yours and mine, but not everybody's. If urine stinks or not has to do with enzymes - whatever that is. Life is not fair. :-(
1 person likes this
@porwest (4839)
• United States
27 Apr
@MALUSE lol. Entirely unfair.
@pgntwo (21646)
• Derry, Northern Ireland
26 Apr
That plate appears to have smoked salmon and Bratkartoffeln on it, in addition to the somewhat elongated asparagus stalks. To say it appears to resemble the male genitalia is pure phallicism...
@MALUSE (40045)
• Germany
26 Apr
I think I'll leave your comment for others to respond to . . .
1 person likes this
@pgntwo (21646)
• Derry, Northern Ireland
27 Apr
@MALUSE No takers, it seems.
@marlina (73885)
• Canada
28 Apr
Excellent information in this discussion. Thanks!
@MALUSE (40045)
• Germany
29 Apr
Glad you like it. :.-)
@jstory07 (66946)
• Roseburg, Oregon
27 Apr
If it is good for you that is something that all of us should be eating.
@MALUSE (40045)
• Germany
27 Apr
Can you get it where you live?
@marlina (73885)
• Canada
28 Apr
I never knew this fact about asparagus: a second harvest in the afternoons!
@ridingbet (52622)
• Philippines
28 Apr
i like how an asparagus taste, but it is not allowed for me because it has vitamin K.
@BelleStarr (38216)
• United States
27 Apr
I do love asparagus with hollandaise, actually I like just about anything with hollandaise.
@Corbin5 (105964)
• United States
27 Apr
I have never eaten white or green asparagus. My husband prepares green asparagus, but I have always taken a pass. For some reason the "try it, you might like it," advice has never worked on me.
@owlwings (39218)
• Cambridge, England
27 Apr
I have occasionally seen asparagus white like that on our local market but usually it's green and cut above ground (and a little smaller than those spears). We NEVER peel it! The instructions are always to snap the stems by bending gently. Where they snap is the point above which they are tender. The traditional way of cooking them is to stand them upright in boiling water so that the stems are boiled for 5-7 minutes and the tops cook in the steam. I don't usually bother to do this (which requires a tall saucepan and for the stems to be tied in a bundle) but either cook them in lightly salted water or steam them for 5 minuites or so.