Meet Delicious Asparagus - Favorite Vegetable of French Kings

All of us have often seen light and fluffy asparagus branches in the composition of the original bouquets. But it turns out that asparagus is not only an ornamental plant. In Italy, young shoots are served with pasta and shrimp. In Germany, cooked with goat cheese, truffles and caviar. Since the time of Julius Caesar in Europe, asparagus was grown as a vegetable and was present on the menu of blue bloods. And now everyone can taste the juicy and tender sprouts.

How asparagus grows and looks

Common asparagus is a perennial bushy plant 120–160 cm high, belonging to the Asparagus family. Branched stems; the leaves are green, looking like needles, but soft. From the horizontal thick rhizome, vertical spear-like shoots diverge. Gastronomic value is their upper part, which is considered by culinary experts as a true delicacy. Asparagus is one of the most wholesome, delicious and expensive vegetable crops.

The pronounced formation of edible shoots occurs on the 3-4th year of life. The first asparagus sprouts appear in early spring and contain a large amount of fiber, vitamins and minerals. When the shoots reach a length of 15–20 cm and bear still dense, unbroken heads, the vegetable is ready for use. Sprouts are cut, carefully scooping up the ground, and wrapped in a damp cloth, otherwise the asparagus will quickly wither. Shoots 22 cm long are considered ideal.

Asparagus is a growth champion. In one warm day, it can grow up to 10 centimeters in length.

Photo Gallery: Growing Asparagus in the Open Field

Asparagus can be grown from seeds

Young edible asparagus shoots appear in spring

Asparagus loves fertile soils

In a permanent place, asparagus is cultivated for 10-15 years

Adult asparagus plants highly decorative

Table: agrotechnical characteristics of the plant

Growing conditionsCharacteristic
Soil requirementFertile sandy loam
Attitude towards lightingPhotophilous
Landing methodsSeeds, rhizomes
Watering attitudeMoisture-loving
Pollination FeaturesDioecious
Low temperatureFrost resistant

Varieties of Asparagus and its Varieties

The most famous types of asparagus include:

  • green
  • white
  • purple
  • sea.

Asparagus is multicolored

White and green asparagus are shoots of one vegetable, the difference is that they are grown differently.

Asparagus is considered fresh when it “peeps”.

If, having rubbed two stalks against each other, you hear a sound resembling a squeak, then asparagus is fresh.

Green asparagus

This is the most common type of asparagus. Its homeland is the coast of the Mediterranean and Caspian Seas. It is characterized by a high content of vitamins. Although for a long time it was considered less useful than white. Green asparagus is especially loved by the people of Great Britain. The collection period lasts from April to July. There are special self-service farms where you can independently collect young fresh shoots.

Green Asparagus Loved in the UK

White asparagus

Equated in its exoticism to truffles and artichokes. To get shoots of white color, they are grown without light, using hilling for this. With this cultivation option, the production of chlorophyll is blocked in the sprouts, as a result of which a more delicate taste is acquired than in green shoots. For a long time, white asparagus was the food of aristocrats. Especially popular in Germany. The Germans consider spring to have come from the moment when young white asparagus appears on the shelves.

White asparagus was considered the food of aristocrats

Purple asparagus

The rarest and original species of asparagus. The technology of its cultivation was invented in France and consists in alternating growth in the light and in the dark. At the same time, pigmented substances are formed in the plants, giving them a dark color and a specific bitter taste. When cooking, the violet color turns into a classic green.

Purple asparagus looks exotic.

To create the conditions for the cultivation of white and purple asparagus, use dark-colored film cover.

A dark film is used to isolate asparagus from light.

Sea asparagus

It differs from other species in that its place of growth is salt marshes and the sea coast. The taste of sea asparagus justifies the name: it is brackish and slightly gives off iodine.

Sea asparagus lives up to its name: it is brackish and rich in iodine

But "Korean asparagus" is not a vegetable, but a semi-finished product artificially created from soybeans.

Table: Asparagus varieties and growing regions in Russia

Grade nameRipening periodGrowing regionsProductivityGrade characteristics
ArgentelEarly ripeAll regions250 g per plantOverhead shoots are greenish-purple, underground shoots are white with pink heads. Pronounced regrowth occurs in 1-2 of May. In one place, the plant is cultivated for 10-15 years. Shade tolerant, drought tolerant, cold resistant.
Mary WashingtonMid earlyIn Russia it is not zoned250 g per plantUnderground shoots are creamy with white flesh, ground shoots are green. The term of use of the plant is 6–8 years. Requires light shelter for the winter. Drought tolerant. Popular in Ukraine and Moldova.
RoyalMid-seasonAll regions2-3 kg / m2Ground sprouts are green, underground ones are white or white-yellow. Drought-resistant, cold-resistant.
Cumulus F1Early ripeAll regions300 g per plantA hybrid variety of Dutch selection. Suitable for growing predominantly white asparagus. Underground shoots are homogeneous, rich white. They begin to form actively for 3-4 years of life.
WaldauEarly ripeAll regionsup to 350 g per plantAboveground shoots are green, underground shoots are yellowish-white, of medium diameter, the flesh is tender. A new variety of Russian selection, included in the State Register in 2017.

Cultivation of cultivated asparagus species began on the territory of Russia in the middle of the XVIII century. In our time, common asparagus can be found from the middle lane to the regions of Siberia and the Caucasus. The best for the middle zone and the Moscow region are considered Argentel and Tsarskaya.

Photo Gallery: Popular Asparagus Varieties

Argentel - an old variety of French selection, the most common in Russia

Variety Mary Washington is not yet zoned for our country, cultivated in Ukraine and Moldova

The Tsarskaya variety is distinguished by thick shoots and high productivity

Cumulus F1 is recommended for the cultivation of white asparagus with a delicate and pleasant taste.

Waldau - the latest variety, suitable for both white and green asparagus, yield above average

The benefits and harms of asparagus

The calorie content of asparagus is low: about 100 kcal per 100 grams of product.

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As part of asparagus (100 g) - proteins (4.6 g), fats (0.2 g), carbohydrates (6 g). It is a source of beneficial fiber, and therefore helps the body free itself from toxins and toxins.

Asparagus contains vitamins:

  • retinol A - 82.8 μg;
  • thiamine B1 - 0.1 mg;
  • riboflavin B2 - 0.1 mg;
  • ascorbic acid C - 20.2 mg;
  • E - 1.9 mg;
  • beta-carotene - 0.6 mg;
  • nicotinic acid PP - 1.1 mg.

Different types of asparagus will have different vitamins. So, white asparagus includes vitamins A, B1, B2, C, E. Green asparagus has a more diverse composition: A, B1, B2, B4 (choline), B9 (folic acid), B11 (carnitine), C, E, K .

The composition of the product includes macro- and microelements:

  • potassium - 195.8 mg;
  • phosphorus - 62.1 mg;
  • calcium - 21 mg;
  • magnesium - 20.2 mg;
  • sodium - 2 mg;
  • iron - 1 mg.

In addition, asparagus contains selenium. This substance has an antioxidant effect, slows down the aging of body cells.

Healing properties

Among the positive medicinal properties of the plant, we will name the following:

  • diuretic effect
  • lowering blood pressure
  • a positive effect on the functioning of the cardiovascular system,
  • stimulation of the digestive tract,
  • Improving liver function
  • soothing effect
  • vision improvement
  • a positive effect on blood formation,
  • improved potency in men.

Contraindications

With caution, asparagus should be consumed by people with an individual intolerance to the product. Medical contraindications are associated with diseases of the gastrointestinal tract: it is a stomach ulcer and duodenal ulcer, as well as the risk of kidney stones.

Asparagus

There are many dishes that include asparagus. In addition, rhizomes, shoots and fruits are used in medicine.

Asparagus is called the "food of the kings." In the 17th century, in France, King Louis XIV ordered the construction of a special greenhouse in which asparagus was grown all year round. And Louis XV enjoyed the lance-like tops with pleasure before visiting the chambers of the Marquise de Pompadour.

In cooking

Mashed soups are prepared from asparagus, added to side dishes, baked. But still, the most common way to cook it is cooking. To do this, there are special high pots with a mesh inserted inside.

Video: how to cook white asparagus

Asparagus is good both hot and cold, as a main course and as a side dish. This is the only vegetable that etiquette rules allow you to eat with your hands, without using cutlery.

Photo Gallery: Asparagus dishes

Asparagus fried in a mixture of butter and olive oil

Asparagus is added to salads

Mashed soups made from asparagus

Stew asparagus with other vegetables

Boiled asparagus with boiled sauces

The most preferred long-term storage method for asparagus is freezing. For this, washed shoots are poured with boiling water for three minutes, thrown into a colander and immediately poured over with cold water. Then placed in plastic bags and sent to the freezer.

Video: how to fry asparagus in a pan

In folk medicine

Traditional healers use asparagus as a strong diuretic for dropsy, edema of the lower extremities, and problems with urination. For these purposes, prepare a decoction of rhizomes (1:10).

Asparagus rhizomes have a strong diuretic effect.

In India and China, they use an infusion of plant berries for sexual weakness, to increase lactation, as a sedative. Five red ripe fruits pour 250 ml of boiling water and insist in a thermos for 8-10 hours. Then filter and take 18 g four times a day.

In China, asparagus berries are used to treat impotence

Asparagus is attractive to everyone - it’s tasty, healthy and healthy. In private plots, it is still planted with decorative purposes. However, asparagus also deserves attention as a vitamin-healing organism with a low-calorie product. After all, it is not for nothing that it has a proud name - a royal vegetable.

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