Asparagus Fun Facts
- Asparagus the name comes from the Greek language and means “sprout” or “shoot.”
- It’s related to onions, leeks, and garlic.
- Queen Nefertiti proclaimed asparagus to be the food of the Gods.
- Research suggests eating this vegetable can help ease hangovers and protect liver cells against alcohol’s toxins
- Asparagus is a member of the Lily family.
Since this vegetable often originates in maritime habitats, it thrives in soils that are too saline for normal weeds to grow. Thus, a little salt was traditionally used to suppress weeds in beds intended for the vegetable; this has the disadvantage that the soil cannot be used for anything else. Some places are better for growing asparagus than others. The fertility of the soil is a large factor. “Crowns” are planted in winter, and the first shoots appear in spring; the first pickings or “thinnings” are known as sprue asparagus. Sprue has thin stems.
A breed of “early season” that can be harvested two months earlier than usual was announced by a UK grower in early 2011. This variety does not need to lie dormant and blooms at 7 °C (45 °F) rather than the usual 9 °C
Purple asparagus differs from its green and white counterparts in having high sugar and low fibre levels. The purple variety was originally developed in Italy, near the city of Albenga and commercialized under the variety name ‘Violetto d’ Albenga’. Since then, breeding work has continued in the United States and New Zealand, creating the ‘Pacific Purple’ variety