Rich, luscious and succulent; serve asparagus as an entrée, as a side, or add it to a stir fry. Asparagus was first cultivated by the Romans in 200BC, and they have been considered a delicacy ever since!
How do we make sure we provide top quality asparagus?
When we source asparagus, we check that the tip is closed and compact and that the stalk is firm and crisp (both of these are the best indicators of freshness). The tip must be a deep green or purple colour. We also make sure all asparagus spears are similar in size; this allows spears to cook evenly.
Where do we source our asparagus from?
Asparagus needs a sandy or loam soil, high rainfall and a cool winter. The deep root system of the asparagus crowns means that rainfall events have to be heavy and infrequent. The most suitable regions in Victoria are Koo Wee Rup, Bainsdale, Dalmore and the Mid-Murray district. Not surprisingly, that's where the best asparagus farmers live!
What is the best way to keep asparagus?
Asparagus stores best in an airtight plastic bag at a temperature between 0oC-4oC (store in the coldest part of your fridge). For extra storage life, you can try wrapping the bottoms in a damp paper towel.
Always store away from sunlight, as the asparagus’s folate content reduces with exposure to air, heat or light.
Due to the delicate nature of asparagus, it tends to deteriorate quickly. Asparagus develops a bitter taste with age, so you're best to keep it cool and use it as soon as possible.
Asparagus nutritional information
Asparagus is a very good source of vitamin K, folate (necessary for a healthy cardiovascular system), vitamin C, vitamin E and thiamine. It also contains dietary fibre, iron, riboflavin and the phytochemical glutathione (which has solid antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic properties).
Asparagus serving tips and suggestions
Snap the asparagus at the lower end before cooking - the freshest asparagus snaps close to the end.
Serve asparagus as an entrée, as a side, or add it to a stir fry. Top off your salad with some grilled asparagus and fetta, drizzled with some olive oil and lemon juice.