In Season: Asparagus

By Copper Williams

You gotta love how in love we are with asparagus. And why wouldn’t we be? This vegetable is a dynamic piece of delectability, filled with nutrition and equally enriching history! With a name that traces back to Ancient Greece as “asparag”, which translates to “shoot”, the asparagus plant has traveled far to find its home on the plates of San Joaquinians. Asparagus first set shoot in America during the 19th century and found its home in the fruitful soils of the Delta amid the 1860’s. Since then, it’s only grown in local popularity, with over 8,000 tons harvested in our county in 2015 alone.

On the back roads of our county, asparagus takes an average of three years before it can be harvested. And while we might consider white asparagus a delicacy, the fact is that both variations stem from the same plant! Simply add a little mound of dirt over the breaching asparagus stem and voila! No sunlight, no green pigmentation!

Turn to these healthy spears when you need a boost in vitamins E, C, B2, B1. A single cup of cooked asparagus can provide you with 33% of your daily allotment in copper, 67% of your folate, and above and beyond what you require in vitamin K. Asparagus can aid in digestive health, and is an excellent aid in anti-inflammatory phytonutrients that help prevent heart disease and diabetes.
When selecting your bundle of asparagus, look for well-rounded shoots that are deep green or off-purple near the closed tips. And once purchased, asparagus should be used no later than two to three days thereafter to ensure peak freshness! Now that you’ve made your choice, why not take on the recipes that we’ve selected to appease your voracious appetite!

Local Flavor: Asparagus Cigars by Midgley’s Public House
Take a bite filled with cream cheese and—of course—locally grown asparagus that’s wrapped in crunchy egg roll paper and served with a side of sweet chili sauce. Finger licking good!

Midgley’s Public House
296 Lincoln Cntr., Stockton
(209) 474-7700