Asparagus Selection Tips

The key to cooking the perfect asparagus not just lies on how great the recipe is. It is also not entirely dependent on the chef who cooks it. What is the point of a great chef if the vegetable he’s using is not fresh?

To achieve a great asparagus dish, what you need to remember is also the most simple—an educated asparagus selection. When you buy fresh asparagus in the supermarket, are you absolutely sure you are buying absolutely fresh asparagus produce? Do you just dump them in your cart? Or do you pretend to inspect them not really knowing what it is you are looking for?

There are several specific indicators that would tell you if an asparagus is indeed fresh. One, fresh spears are firm and straight, not limp. They have a rich green colour and a smooth texture. The scent of fresh stalks is also mild with tips that are tightly-closed.

And the tell-tale signs of old asparagus stalks? If you notice that there are ridges on the stalks, it means it has overstayed its welcome on the shelf. It would take on a dull green colour, with an indication of dryness at the cut. The scent of old asparagus would also be stronger with tips that are open.

Should you choose thick or thin asparagus? It depends on your preference and the recipe you are following. Remember though that the vegetable’s size is not how its tenderness is determined. Thin ones can be as woody as thick spears.

When buying asparagus for cooking, choose those stalks with the same size and length. This would give you more control on how evenly they are cooked.

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