It’s the height of asparagus season. Ephemeral and delicious, they are green or white on the stalls.
How are the two types of asparagus grown?
In terms of cultivation, know that the two asparagus are one and the same plant. Except that one grows underground, without any light: the white one. The delicate white asparagus is the subject of significant cultivation work. First there is the stem (called the claw) which will bud in the spring. These buds will grow to form young edible shoots, called turions. Producers must mound these (cover them with soil regularly) so that they are protected from light as long as possible. Until the spears mature, tender and almost pearly white. Hence their higher price.
Conversely, we let the spears of the green grow out of the ground, which will initiate photosynthesis. Which initially gives them a purple color and then turns more green, this beautiful spring color.
Some asparagus are all green from head to toe: they are the subject of a special flat culture: the spears grow entirely in the open air.
Green asparagus or white asparagus: what difference in taste?
In terms of taste, they do not bring the same flavors. The white ones are bigger, with a more delicate taste. They are refined, they are best cooked with eggs, butter, a light sauce, cooked ham. Before cooking them and cooking them upright, you have to peel the stem, which can be stringy. In a risotto, they give all their taste but we will take care to add the tips only at the end..
Green asparagus is “greener” in taste, more crunchy. We don’t peel them, just cut off the hard part at the bottom. They go well with foods with a pronounced taste such as smoked salmon, country ham, or old parmesan, a real delight! They are also cooked with pasta.
White or green asparagus: what are the nutritional differences?
On the nutritional level, both have a sacred diuretic power, we can notice it from the characteristic smell that emerges from our post-asparagus urination! And this thanks to their asparagine content and their exemplary potassium-sodium ratio. But above all, they are rich in fiber and vitamins B9 and K.