Widely cultivated for its tender, succulent, edible shoots, asparagus cultivation began more than 2,000 years ago in the eastern Mediterranean region. With its designer looks, air of sophistication and unique herbaceous flavour its no wonder that the popularity of fresh asparagus has stood the test of time. Spring signals the start of the asparagus season and a time when we can take advantage of its health giving properties. Although green asparagus is the main variety grown in Australia, watch out for white and purple asparagus and enjoy their unique properties.
Although asparagus is easy to cook it is difficult to grow. The asparagus plant is erratic and unpredictable. It is vulnerable to frost, hail, heat and wind, which bends the spears and, under extreme conditions causes “sand blasting” of the tender spears. The growing, harvesting and packing of asparagus are extremely labour intensive processes and once harvested, asparagus is a highly perishable product. So hats off to the hard-working growers who provide this delectable product for our enjoyment and health!