Looking for White Aparagus (a.k.a, Blanched Asparagus) in 2023? Scroll down this page and follow the links. And if you bring home some fruit or vegetables and want to can, freeze, make jam, salsa or pickles, see this page for simple, reliable, illustrated canning, freezing or preserving directions. There are plenty of other related resources, click on the resources dropdown above. If you are having a hard time finding canning lids, I've used these, and they're a great price & ship in 2 days.
White asparagus is actually just green asparagus that has been kept covered until harvested, so no light reaches it. Without light, the green color of chlorophyll never develops. Aside from that, green and white (called "blanched asparagus") are the same. Some people feel that the blanched asparagus is more tender, and that is possible, as it is usually either buried under soil or much, or covered with baskets. Either of these methods prevent wind and other stimuli from reaching the asparagus that could toughen the sprouts.
Most white asparagus in the U.S. is imported from other area, particularly Peru and Europe, where it is more familiar and valued more.
You may find that blanched asparagus has a milder flavor, less strong that green asparagus. Except for the outer skin. Many chefs peel blanched asparagus because the outer peel has a bitter taste and is tough and chewy, unlike green asparagus. A vegetable peeler works well. This Eckert's farm page has good directions and photos about how to peel it.
But the milder underlying flavor appeals to some people, as it takes on more of the flavor of sauces, like a Hollandaise sauce. In Germany, where it is called Spargel, white asparagus is highly prized and used in a traditional recipe for boiled white asparagus, with ham, parsley, potatoes and a tiny bit of salt and sugar which makes it all incredibly tender and mild-flavored.
Blanched asparagus is also more expensive than green; usually about $2 or $3 per pound more, given the extra labor that is required to grow it.
Wow, U-Pick white asparagus is REALLY hard to find in the U.S. Eckerts in Belleville, Iliinois, has it.
The Old farmer's Almanac has a good page about how to grow your own asparagus, white or green. I've been growing it for years. It's probably the easiest thing you can grow. And after you harvest in the spring, you let it grow, and it produces 5 ft tall fern-like leaves that make a nice background hedge at the back of the garden. So don't plant it where it will block the sun from other parts of the garden. The leaves suck up energy from the sun and store it in the roots to produce next Spring;'s crop.
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