Monday, March 22, 2010

Asparagus Advice

Asparagus season will soon be upon us.

From Jane Grigson's Good Things:
How would you describe the best asparagus? Thick, certainly. Fresh certainly, as, whatever kind is grown, its flavor will deteriorate with delay. No argument here.

But after that, would you prefer it to be blanched white? Or white with a yellowish head? Or green and white streaked with pinkish purple? Or as green as possible?

The answer will tell me more about you than about absolute standards of asparagus perfection. Italians like white asparagus with a yellowish head. The French like their violet and green and white spears. And the English and Americans like unblanched, tender greenness. In our favor, I will modestly add that European chefs working in England have said, do still say, that our fresh asparagus beats all for flavor.

That’s the theory anyway. In practice, your answer would more likely have been curt, rather than considered: “The best asparagus is the asparagus I can afford — when I can find it.”
The CC bows in all humility to the wisdom of the sensei.

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