Asparagus officinalis belongs to the genus Asparagus of the lily family. It is believed that asparagus has originated in Mesopotamia. It is an exotic seasonal vegetable. Its tender shoots are edible, and roots are used in medicine. Harvesting season lasts April through June-July when young shoots are picked up for their superior taste. But asparagus imported from Africa or China is available throughout the year. Fresh asparagus has dense, juicy flesh and unique, gorgeous taste you can’t describe by words. Only your taste buds can tell what it is.
The cooks and gourmands of the past preferred white asparagus. Once at a convention of chief cooks representing best European restaurants, delegates from Belgium and France nearly engaged in a scuffle over vehement dispute whether or nor to include dishes with green asparagus on the menus of prominent restaurants.
Today, there are lots of asparagus recipes, – with both white and green asparagus. But whatever the type of the vegetable, all devout epicures agree that the cunning way to get the most out of asparagus is to boil it in salted water with a piece of butter. Or to pour olive oil or lemon juice over it. Though true gourmands still love asparagus plain, without any seasonings and dressings. Even at restaurants, asparagus is not supposed to be eaten using silverware if it’s cooked whole.
The younger shoots, the more tender they are. Asparagus is very quick to cook. Green asparagus is boiled no more than 5 minutes, if overcooked – the amazing taste deteriorates.
- Asparagus is rich in phosphorus, iron, potassium, calcium, vitamin C, and vitamin A.
- This vegetable is proven to be strong aphrodisiac, boosting libido.
- Asparagus has been used for the treatment of prostate gland since ancient times.
- Asparagus is good for kidneys and urinary tracts, blood vessels and capillaries.