Interesting Facts And History Of Asparagus You Didn’t Know

There are records of this vegetable growing in ancient Rome and Greece as well as in Egypt more than 2000 years ago. It was revered in Egypt, both offered to the gods and consumed to relieve medical ailments.

Asparagus was first discovered in the wild. This variety isn’t like the thick green stalks you see today because wild asparagus has very thin shoots, thinner than a pencil in fact. Different growing techniques and selective breeding are what led to the change in shape.

One of the varieties the ancient Romans grew was huge. Each spear weighed about a third of a pound. The Persian word ‘asparag’ is where the modern word came from. Later on, peasants would refer to it as ‘sparrow grass’. Asparagus seeds need to be sown 3 years before you can harvest the plant. When it’s growing it can grow up to 7 inches a day.

Green, White and Purple Asparagus Varieties

White asparagus is the same plant as green asparagus but dirt is piled on top of it to shade it from the sun. If that happens it won’t turn green. Purple asparagus was first grown in Italy and this type of plant offers bigger spears but not so many per plant as the green or white kinds.

Have you tasted purple asparagus? It tends to be sweeter and more delicate than the green or white type so try it in salad and save the other types for making soup or more robust side dishes. Asparagus can also be added to pasta or rice dishes, omelets and frittata, casseroles, stir-fries and more.

Most of the asparagus grown for the US comes from California, although Michigan and Washington are also large producers. China is the biggest asparagus grower followed by Peru. Asparagus is in the lily family and offers a lot of Vitamins A and C.


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