Asparagus matures in April-June, when the rest of the vegetables in the beds more – perhaps in this lies the secret of its popularity. Asparagus is especially fond of Western Europe: Italy, France, Spain is a very respected product.
The stalks of asparagus are white, purple and green, but it’s not different varieties of plants: the color varies depending on how it is growing.
Asparagus – a great source of vitamins K, A, C, E and B complex, folic acid, selenium, copper, manganese, potassium and other essential minerals as well as dietary fiber. Asparagus has a very powerful antioxidant and anti-cancer properties. At the same time, the asparagus is low in calories.
We know that even one eaten asparagus literally 10-15 minutes to change body odor (or rather, all the selections). The fact that there are several in asparagus sulfur compounds, which also have, for example, onions and garlic. In the process of digestion in the stomach of these compounds are distinguished by-products that have a very peculiar odor.
The substance saponin, available in asparagus, irritating effect on the gastric mucosa, so that during exacerbations of diseases of the gastrointestinal tract of its use should be restricted. It not recommended to eat asparagus at rheumatism, prostatitis, cystitis.
The types and grades
The stalks of asparagus are white, purple and green, but it’s not different varieties of plants. If you just show on the ground sprouts spud so that they did not get the sunlight they turn pale or even white (as asparagus grown in Australia, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands). White asparagus is different from green asparagus taste great tenderness and softness shoots.
Purple asparagus – French: sprouts spud at once, allowing them to soak up the sun for long, and they remain in ivory, and the tops are purple. Green asparagus grows just under the sun.
In many European countries, along with cultivated and wild asparagus is known. It is, of course, green.
Asparagus is sold both fresh and canned. The latter, of course, never be compared with fresh. The most gentle method of canning asparagus – rapid freezing.
Generally botanists know many kinds of asparagus (and some of them are quite edible), but she asparagus, which is known for cooking – is Asparagus officinalis or obyknovvennaya (Asparágus officinális).
Korean asparagus, soy asparagus or even asparagus in Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan, often called Fuzhi – a product of processing of soy milk (“foam” that forms on the boiling soy milk). This product is also known under the name yubu, and in English-speaking countries – tofu skin.
How to cook asparagus
Before you cooking asparagus, it must be cleaned. Green asparagus is cleared from the middle of the stem and down to the bottom and white – only a tip. Clean it convenient potato peeler.
Cook the asparagus is simple: it like seafood, it is important not to digest, so as not to lose color. The easiest and most delicious way to deal with asparagus – just blanch it in boiling salted water for 3-4 minutes. Asparagus will become juicy and tender, and nothing more is required.
Often blanch the asparagus and cook. The bottom of the stalks, stripped even good, cooked a little longer than the soft-top of the buds, so put the asparagus in a pan vertically and reach the top just a couple.
Asparagus can be baked a few minutes under the grated hard cheese or without, but served with a sauce. The most famous sauce for asparagus – Dutch (a few egg yolks, a little lemon juice, a little butter, salt and cayenne pepper). Any good and creamy lemon sauce, yes, even homemade butter with herbs, slightly melted on asparagus, makes it a dish of luxury.
In any most sophisticated dish asparagus must keep its taste and texture – it should be slightly stewed, soft, but not too much, say, “al dente.” Otherwise it makes no sense
Asparagus is combined with almost all existing products: even with Parma ham, tuna though, even with curry, though with pears and peaches. It is very advantageous to look in salads (for example, with a variety of leaf, red onion and pepper for seasoning and salad with freshly ground black pepper).
Season with fresh ground asparagus starts in the second half of April and lasts in May and June. In some countries, the asparagus are covered with a special film that allows you to harvest in March.
In Moscow shops have asparagus all year round, and in general, it does not matter, it is spring or winter. Because even in April and May, at the season, we can only humbly hope that this plant hardly collected, delivered the first flight from France or Italy right in the Moscow market. Rarely we have the opportunity to go to the basket to the market and buy white asparagus, green, purple – and just ripped.
Asparagus – a perennial plant; crop stalks harvested from the third year, and then annually.
How to choose and store
The stalks of asparagus should be smooth, soft, supple, with a slight shimmer brilliant. They have to grind as freshly washed glass, rubbing against each other shoots. Shoots should be firm, closed heads.
Keep the best asparagus in the refrigerator vegetable compartment in the bottom, but even there it is possible to keep a couple of days. So it is recommended to prepare it as quickly as possible.
For long-term storage of frozen asparagus, you can try: sprouts should be washed and cut, then fill them with boiling water for three minutes, and then dipped in cold water for five minutes. Then the water is drained, sprouts are packed in bags and placed in the freezer.