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This item was last sold on : 06/10/18
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Purple asparagus is a similar in appearance and flavor to both white and green varieties as its original cultivar came from green asparagus. Its differentiated by its violet hued stems and conical crowned tips, however its feathery foliage is still green. Its attractive violet coloring is only skin deep as its flesh is pale green to creamy white. It is inherently less fibrous thus more tender than other asparagus types. Also, its preferred sweetness is due to its twenty percent higher sugar content than other asparagus varieties. Cooked purple asparagus develops flavoral notes of artichoke, barley and almonds.
Purple asparagus has a peak season from spring through early summer.
Asparagus, botanical name Asparagus officinalis, is a member of the Liliaceae family. It is a perennial herb with an underground rhizome known as the plant's crown. It is cultivated for its edible young stems, known as spears, which emerge in spring and summer.
Purple asparagus' colour comes from the high levels of anthocyanins in the spears. Anthocyanins are potent antioxidant flavonoids that have protective and preventative health benefits, including anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.
Purple asparagus is tender enough to be eaten raw and if cooked, it will dull in color. Cooking should be done so over high and brief heat, whether grilled, sauteed or steamed. Little embellishment is needed to showcase purple asparagus' best qualities. Three ideal companion ingredients of purple asparagus are olive oil, lemon and sea salt. Spring ingredients such as morel mushrooms, green garlic, wild ramps, fennel, leeks, young lettuces and grapefruit are also quite suitable pairings. Other complimentary ingredients include aged nutty cheeses such as pecorino and alpine cheeses, bacon, proscuitto, cream, eggs, butter, shallots, herbs such as thyme and basil, yeasty breads like sourdough and wheat and grains such as brown rice, quinoa and farro. Asparagus will keep, dry and refrigerated, for up to a week. Purple asparagus will keep refrigerated for a week.
Purple asparagus was originally developed in Italy by farmers in the Albenga region. They propagated it from seeds from open pollinated female plants. It was first commercialized under the variety name Violetto d'Albenga. Cultivated and wild asparagus thrive in temperate regions of North America and Western Europe.
Recipes that include Purple Asparagus. One is easiest, three is harder.
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