If there is one universally loved vegetable it seems to be asparagus. Even the fussy eaters in my life, or the â€œno vegetables for me pleaseâ€ freaks, will eat asparagus. I know people who eat it several times a week. Even when itâ€™s off season, expensive and not that great.
So now that the fat young spears are in season here in California, cheap, and really great I thought the time was right to honor it with this weeks Market Matters post from the Hollywood Farmers Market.
I love asparagus. But not all asparagus is the same. There are the very thin types. Often called baby asparagus. Which is mostly a misnomer because the thin spears are usually from older plants and are produced further out from the center of the plant.
Thin asparagus is usually a bit stringier. It has an earthier, more pronounced asparagus flavor in my opinion too. This does not mean it is not as good as fat asparagus. In fact many people prefer this type. I would say fat or thin are pretty much equally good. If handled properly. Fat spears almost always need to be peeled. Thick asparagus seems to concentrate its fibers in the skin. Peeling may be necessary because in some methods of cooking they can become a mushy mess by the time they have cooked enough to get the skin tender.