The Chinese grew asparagus over 5,000 years ago and the Romans brought it to Europe from Egypt and Greece. Asparagus is often considered a luxury vegetable, also because of its price.
In Slovenia, asparagus production almost came to a hold after the World War II, and again came to life in the late 1980s and 90s. The production is still relatively small, but the produced quantity is of an exceptional quality and exquisite flavor.
The Panvita Group opened an asparagus plantation in 2007. We were very careful when choosing its location, so we put the plantation on the lightest soil that we own and on which asparagus can thrive beautifully.
We grow green and white asparagus. The difference is caused by the chlorophyll content. The white asparagus grows in the soil and is picked directly from the ground so it does not contain any chlorophyll. On the other hand the green asparagus is picked as its shoots grow 20-30 cm from the ground and it contains large quantities of chlorophyll.
Asparagus contains many vitamins (B-complex vitamins, especially folic acid – B9, vitamin C, even traces of vitamins E and K), and is rich in the micro and macro minerals, especially zinc, magnesium, potassium and iron. Due to the high chlorophyll content the green asparagus contains more vitamins, while the shoots are especially rich in nutritional elements.
Asparagus is relatively rich in protein and very low in calories (up to 80 kJ/19 KCal per 100 g), since it contains almost no fat or carbohydrates, but is rich in dietary fiber. Besides the glucosides, flavones and saponins it also contains the amino acid asparagine, which got its name from the asparagus plant. Asparagin benefits liver function because of its diuretic effect, which can be beneficial in many ways.
Beside its rich chemical composition we absolutely cannot ignore the flavor that is a combination of sulfur compounds, organic acids and simple sugars.
RECOMMENDATIONS BEFORE CONSUMPTION
White and green shoots are used in cooking.
There are thousands of recipes, but they all have a common message: do not “kill them with high temperature”, just expose them to high temperature (cooking, blanching, etc.) for a short time.
Wash asparagus under a cool water jet and peel them with a special knife just before use.
BUYING AND STORAGE
The most exquisite culinary pleasure is obtained from fresh asparagus that we buy daily as it is picked every day.
Store fresh asparagus in a refrigerator, in the vegetable compartment, with the ends wrapped in a damp paper towel so they do not dry out.
Because the growing and picking seasons are somewhat limited (April, May) we can freeze them or pickle them in oil, vinegar or brine.
Store them in pre-prepared portions (depending on the purpose); we recommend peeling before storage. Peeling of preserved asparagus, especially frozen, can be very difficult as the shoots are soft and there is a lot of waste.
Fresh asparagus, green and white, 500 g per bunch
Cuts, frozen, green or white asparagus, 2 kg