Think about beautiful white and green stalks with a hue of purple, Asparagus, the delectable thick stalk that we all love in our salads. Its fantastic flavor is just so beautifully deep that it adds to every delicacy it is a part of.
Once considered a real-life luxury if found due to its rarity asparagus now has become common and is easily available over the shelves.
The best part about this mouth-watering vegetable is the fact that it is so low in its calorie count and yet so high in its nutritive value.
The asparagus stalks rise from the crown of the plant and finally grow into fern-like leaves. Asparagus is available all-around the year, but the best variety and taste can be noticed in spring.
Types of Asparagus
Just like so many other vegetables asparagus can be seen in a variety of colors. Asparagus is available in various varieties, which can further be categorized into three major categories, namely:
(A) White Asparagus
The white asparagus is preferred in the European subcontinent. The white color of the asparagus is obtained by letting the dirt and dust mound on the plant so that it is deprived of the sunlight, thus affecting the production of chlorophyll which is responsible for the green color in plants.
(B) Green Asparagus
The green asparagus is the most widely used and available variety. Its shape and spears range from thin that is almost pencil thin to very thick in different types. The strongest asparagus flavor is felt in this variety.
(C) Purple Asparagus
Sweet and tender asparagus with beautiful purple spears. Make sure the asparagus is not cooked for too long as it might just lose the beautiful color. It is often consumed in salads or raw.
The purple asparagus plants have much fewer spears in comparison to the other two categories. The purple hue in the asparagus is due to the presence of anthocyanins which are very healthy as they are believed to have a high antioxidant content.
Furthermore, a Wild Asparagus variety is also known, which is rarely available over the counter and needs to be searched for.
These three categories further enclose a list of varieties under them. Some of them have been listed below:
1) Jersey Series
These plants are resistant to diseases and are an excellent choice for being planted in sandy soils. It further has been subcategorized in:
- Jersey Giant- strong flavors and thick spears.
- Jersey Knight – flavorsome and tender spears
- Jersey Supreme-
- Jersey King- Easy to grow in humus composed soil.
2) Purple Passion
It is a subtype of the purple asparagus and is thus, really sweet to taste. It has beautiful purple spears which lose their color on heating.
This variety of asparagus is known for its high immunity towards diseases and its range of growth in all weather conditions.
It is a good yielding an early variety of asparagus which has very heavy spears.
Ariane is a nice mild variety of asparagus with a good flavor.
6) Pacific 2000
It is one of the tender varieties of asparagus with a delicate flavor to it.
7) UC 157
This asparagus can be both male or female and is pale green. It usually grows during warm climatic conditions.
The millennium asparagus is great when cooked. It has a chunky taste, but taste bitter when consumed raw.
One of the bold varieties of asparagus that grows well in hot weather conditions.
This variety is a native of France. It yields great produce with large spears.
11) Viking KBC
This is a fairly new type of asparagus. It is hybrid known for producing high yields in every season.
12) Stewarts Purple
This variety is sweet to taste and is considered one of the nicest types of asparagus.
It is a Dutch variety of asparagus and yields heavy produce in clay or sandy soils both.
14) De Paoli
Normal yield asparagus which is a native of USA.
Tesco’s asparagus has a slightly mushy feel to it and is quite nice to consume.
This is also German asparagus and has its spears thick with closed tips.
17) Mary Washington
This type of asparagus has long, deep green spears with purplish tips. They are pretty uniform in their structure. It is one of the traditional varieties of asparagus.
A fairly young variety of Asparagus which yields great produce of green asparagus with thick stalks.
19) Guelph Millennium
This asparagus has excellent tolerance towards harsh weather conditions.
These asparaguses have large spears which are completely purple. They are a native of Italy.
This variety has such a subtle flavor that it is often called bland. It is incredibly delicate and stringy in the ends.
22) Precoce D’Argenteuil
This particular variety of asparagus is famous for its sweet stalk in Europe. It has spears in shades of Pink.
23) Connovers Colossal
The asparagus of this variety is bright green with purple tips.
This variety yields good produce in warm areas and has heavy stems.
This plant is suitable for both the white and green asparagus production.
26) Crimson Pacific
This is a midseason variety of asparagus. It produces purple spears.
27) Purple Pacific
An almost bland variety of asparagus which is almost watery and woody.
28) Violetto d’ Albenga
It is a disease prone asparagus but yields large spears and also has low produce at the end season.
This is one of the fastest cropping asparaguses.
This variety is the same as the millennium, but it grows under harsh weather conditions too.
This variety of asparagus takes long to mature and produces medium spears on normal stalks.
32) Italian Asparagus
The asparagus with pink tips is a native of Italy. It has a refined and pleasing taste which is suitable for all delicacies.
33) Asparagus Montana
It is a variety of green asparagus and is rich in nutrition.
34) Asparagus Plumosus
This is an ornamental plant and is sheerly used for its decorative purpose only.
35) Asparagus Tenuifolius
A typical asparagus variety used for consumption.
36) Darbonne Selection
It is a delectable variety of green asparagus which can also be grown as white asparagus.
It is a famous Italian asparagus variety with delicate spears and beautiful green color.
This variety of asparagus is named after goddess Minerva and has bright green shoots.
Some of the other commonly heard of varieties of asparagus are:
- Columbian Mammoth
- Asparagus of Bassano del Grappa
- Asparagus of Ercole
- White asparagus of Badoere
- Junon Asparagus
- Asparagus of Navarre
- Larac Asparagus
- Asparagus of Tivoli
Health Benefits of Asparagus
The benefits of consuming this beautiful and delicious vegetable are many, enlisting just a few:
2) Asparagus is high in its fiber content, and thus, it promotes digestion.
3) Its high antioxidant content helps in prevention of many cardiovascular diseases.
4) Asparagus has high Vitamin B9 levels which help in support of pregnancy.
5) Its vitamin E content helps boost our immunity.
This beauty of a vegetable is nutritious, attractive and delectable which make it a must-have in our diet. A low-calorie blast of antioxidants, this crowned shoot is an amazing source of nutrition, and the list of its benefits compels you all to give the delicately Asparagus a try!