Premium, fresh asparagus is one of Crystal Valley’s core products and we have strategic, long term partnerships with growers in Peru, where it is grown year-round, and Mexico, where it is grown seasonally. As a result of its excellent health benefits and year-round availability, this versatile veggie has seen gradually increasing consumption and volume in the United States and we continue to import more volume as well.
The word asparagus is derived from the Greek word aspharagos meaning “sprout” or “shoot.” Asparagus is a member of the lily family and is related to garlic, onions, and leeks. It was first cultivated in Western Europe over 2,500 years ago and ancient Greeks and Romans believed the vegetable helped prevent bee stings, and helped with wounds, infections, and toothaches. Under ideal conditions, an asparagus spear can grow 10″ in a 24- hour period.
There are three different kinds of asparagus: green, white and purple.
Look for asparagus stalks that are bright green, straight, have a smooth skin, are uniform in color and have a dry and tight tip. Avoid wilted stalks as they are a sign of age.
Refrigerate asparagus and wrap the ends in a damp paper towel.
To prepare, trim about an inch off of the woody ends and wash the spears before using.
Asparagus has a unique “grassy” flavor, that is enhanced by preparation. Asparagus can be broiled, steamed, grilled, pureed, roasted, or sautéed.