White asparagus has long been a delicacy in Europe and celebrated throughout springtime with festivals and events. It is slightly milder, more delicate, and sweeter than its green counterpart, with a hint of nuttiness.
What makes it different? White asparagus is related to green asparagus but it is grown in a different, labor-intensive process and never exposed to sunlight. It is usually covered by mounds of dirt so that the tips don’t get any light. Without the sun’s rays, it is not able to form chlorophyll, which is why it does not turn green.
Crystal Valley imports its tender, white asparagus spears from Peru and we are the largest white asparagus importer.
Look for stalks that are straight, have smooth skin, are firm and have a dry and tight tip.
Asparagus should be held at 36—38°F . You can wrap the ends in a damp paper towel and refrigerate for several days.
Since white asparagus is grown under the soil, it can be more tender than green asparagus but its skin is a little tougher. The tougher skin means that you will want to peel it off (like you would a carrot) before cooking. You will also want to trim the woody ends.
Before eating, trim .5” from ends then carefully peel off the thin skin starting 1.5” from the top of each spear.
Boil, microwave, or steam until very tender and cooked all the way through. White asparagus is delicious with a vinaigrette or Caesar dressing. Traditionally, it is also dipped in or drizzled with hollandaise sauce or butter.